HOODED or Being Black for Dummies
November 17 – December 2, 2018
by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, directed by Thomas W. Jones II

HOODED is a breathtakingly subversive dead-serious comedy that unwraps what is no laughing matter: race relations in America and the peril young Black men are in.

Street savvy Tru thinks preppie adoptee Marquis has lost his “blackness” and pens a manual entitled Being Black for Dummies as they navigate a world of cheerleaders, Black Lives Matter, 2Pac, identity politics, Nietzsche, the police, and Apollo.

20-something Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm finished Julliard’s playwriting program in May of 2018. His plays, BR’ER COTTON and HOODED have received productions throughout America and in England.

Hooded was part of Mixed Blood’s PRESCIENT HARBINGERS trilogy: three plays glued together by an African American male prism, through contrast, and via Second Amendment violations.

Thanks to Fair State Brewing Cooperative for sponsoring Prescient Harbingers

[An illustrated image black, red and orange with the word HOODED in the center. A man figure holds a microphone on the right of the image. The words “WHAT’S THAT NOW?” appear at the bottom of the image]

What’s that now? HOODED or Being Black for Dummies

It’s part comedy, part totally dead-serious look into what it means to be young and black in America today.

Borne out of the tragic murder of Trayvon Martin, Hooded is a mic drop in the face of current events. The story of Marquis’ coming to terms with his blackness through Tru’s manual (Being Black for Dummies, the show’s subtitle) is edgy, hilarious, and shockingly relevant.

It’s a comedy, but it’s a hell of a lot more.

[The headshots of the actors in the play HOODED rotate through. The order is NATHAN BARLOW, WILLIAM THOMAS HODGSON, and BONNI ALLEN.]

Hooded, or Being Black For Dummies is street-minded Tru’s (Nathan Barlow) self-penned cure for his preppy opposite Marquis, (William Thomas Hodgson) a black teen living in a mostly-white affluent community who’s out of touch with his blackness, according to Tru. But that’s about to change.

It’s a wild ride, from Nietzsche to Tupaq.

We start off with a stage shared by Tru and Marquis in a jail cell together—a first for Marquis but not exactly an…uncommon occurrence for Tru. Then Marquis’ mom (Bonni Allen), a “comically liberal” white woman according to The Washington Post, shows up to bail the both of them out, with a well-meaning made-up-on-the-spot story about Tru’s tragic past that ultimately gets him free.

[The headshot of Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, playwright of HOODED or being black for dummies]

And so playwright Terrence Arvelle Chisolm tells the story of a budding friendship between these two young men with vastly opposed life experiences, forged in the bonds of being black in a time when blackness is risky thing to be. Even amongst white peers.

Will you regret missing Hooded for the rest of your life? Yes. But don’t just take our word for it.

[The headshot of TOM JONES, the director of HOODED or being black for dummies]

What they say

"Darkly comedic & deeply astute" - San Fran Chronicle

“Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies” opens with two black high school students sharing a jail cell. One of them, Tru, has been there more than a few times before. For the other, Marquis, this is a first. Tru talks in black slang, while Marquis speaks in prep-school sentences.

“You talk like a white person, yo,” Tru says.

Not long after, Marquis’ adoptive mom (a white woman) shows up and immediately gets him out. Then she tries to do the same for Tru. When the officer protests, she shoots back: “His mother is clearly doing the best that she can. She’s a single woman, uneducated, living in poverty, working two jobs at minimum wage to make ends meet because she doesn’t have a college education.” (Of course, she’s never met Tru, let alone his mother.)”

I write plays that span space, time, and multiple universes; where memories lecture, elephants sing, and cotton fields grow in kitchens. I write plays where fourteen year old black boys wake up with blonde hair and blue eyes. I write plays where scenes stutter, stop, and then restart again.

Playwright, Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm






Debra in Hooded

BONNI ALLEN (Gloria and Nan in Gloria/Debra in Hooded) MIXED BLOOD: Avenue Q, Barbecue, Learn to be Latina, Because, Go Ask Alice, TWIN CITIES: The Christians (Walking Shadow at Mixed Blood), Idiot‘s Delight (Girl Friday), Disenchanted, Only One Sophie (Illusion), The Pavilion, Fair Game (Yellow Tree), A Piece of My Heart (Theater Unbound), My Mother’s Lesbian Jewish Wiccan Wedding (MN Jewish Theatre), The Savannah Sipping Society (Old Log), Sisters of Swing, Christmas of Swing, Beyond the Rainbow (History Theater), Sam‘s Son (Bucket Brigade), A Class Act (TWIN CITIES Musical Theater) Mom’s the Word, A Christmas Carol, (Actors’ Theater of MN), Subprime (MediaBlitz at Mixed Blood)



Fielder/Dionysus in Hooded

MACGREGOR ARNEY (Fielder/Dionysus in Hooded) Mixed Blood: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time Regional: Into the Woods (Phamaly Theatre Company), Gita and the Gun (Southland Company), Going to a Place Where You Already Are (Theatre Alliance D.C) Awards: Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation Acting Scholarship (Media Access Awards) Education: UC San Diego, M.F.A. in Acting



Tru in Hooded

NATHAN BARLOW (Tru in Hooded) MIXED BLOOD: Distracted, Cool Drink of Water, Stars and Stripes, Passing Strange, Charm; TWIN CITIES: Parchman Hour, Choir Boy, Uncle Vanya, Christmas Carol (Guthrie), Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet, In the Red and Brown Water (Pilsbury House Theatre), Cinderella, Bud Not Buddy, Watson’s Go To Birmingham (Children’s Theatre) Measure for Measure (10,000 Things), Aida (Theatre Latte Da), The Boy and Robin Hood (Trademark) REGIONAL Akeelah and the Bee (Arena Stage) TV: Kate 11 Whatever Show AWARDS Ivy Award for Marcus; Or the Secret of Sweet. EDUCATION: University of Minnesota’s Guthrie BFA Actor training program.



Clementine in Hooded

KATHRYN FUMIE (Kendra in Gloria/Clementine in Hooded) Mixed Blood/Theater Mu: Two Mile Hollow TWIN CITIES: Hamlet (Theatre Unbound), June (Umbrella Collective), Princess’ Nightngale (Theater Mu/Steppingstone), Hamlet (Park Square), Watson Intelligence (Park Square). REGIONAL: Acadia Repertory, GTC Dramatic Dialogues. EDUCATION: Rutgers University, Mason Gross School of the Arts, BFA Acting and Rutgers’ Conservatory at Shakespeare’s Globe. UPCOMING: Feb 2019 Gladys in The Skin Of Our Teeth (Girl Friday/Park Square).



Marquis in Hooded

WILLIAM THOMAS HODGSON: Marquis (Hooded), Miles/Shawn/Rashaad (Gloria); MIXED BLOOD: Octaroon; REGIONAL: Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Berkeley Rep, La Jolla Playhouse, CalShakes, TheaterWorks, San Diego Rep, Marin Theater Company, PCPA, Shotgun Players, Berkeley Playhouse, Ubuntu Theater Project; AWARDS:Broadway World Award, BATCC Award for Best Actor; EDUCATION: PCPA, Santa Fe University( B.F.A. in Acting), UCSD (M.F.A. in Acting)



Prairie in Hooded

COLLEEN LAFEBER: (Ani / Sasha / Callie in Gloria / Prairie in Hooded). Regional: Roe, Shakespeare in Love, Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner, All the Way (Asolo Rep) Educational Theatre: Midsummer, Drunken City, Damn Yankees, Legally Blonde. Education: FSU / Asolo Conservatory for Actor Training, M.F.A Acting. University of Minnesota Duluth, B.F.A. Musical Theatre.



Meadow in Hooded

KENDALL KENT (Meadow in Hooded) MIXED BLOOD: Debut. TWIN CITIES: Jack and the Beanstalk, Charlotte’s Web (Old Log), The Winter’s Tale, Romeo and Juliet, Twelfth Night (BARd Shakes), Sex, War, and Syphilis (Theatre Unbound/Raw Sugar), Body and Sold (Chain Reaction), Under the Gaslight (MN Centennial Showboat); EDUCATIONAL: Three Sisters, August: Osage County, The Taming of the Shrew, Hippolotos; EDUCATION: University of Minnesota/Guthrie Theatre BFA Actor Training Program; WEBSITE kendallkent.com



Hunter/Headmaster Burns in Hooded

TOM REED (Dean/Devin in Gloria/Hunter/Headmaster Burns in Hodded) MIXED BLOOD: The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, Next to Normal, Avenue Q; TWIN CITIES: Main Stage Cast 2014-2018 (Brave New Workshop), Gunplay!, Stranger-er Things, Bite Me Twilight (Fringe), Lounge-asaurus Rex, Ringo, Musical, Rom Com, KaBaam! (HUGE Improv Theater), The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (abridged) (Actor’s Theater), ComedySportz; TV/FILM: Lady Dynamite, America Unearthed, The Public Domain; AWARDS: Best Actor 48 Hour Film Project (TWIN CITIES, 2015); EDUCATION: Concordia College Moorhead, Theater Minor; David Midboe, voice lessons

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