People's Light set to stage 'Bonez', a social horror show about the Black male experience

BySteph Walton WPVI logo
Monday, September 25, 2023
World Premiere of 'Bonez' at People's Light Sept. 22-Oct. 15
People's Light is set to premiere Bonez, a thriller that looks to challenge people's perception of the Black male experience.

PHILADELPHIA (WPVI) -- Steve H. Broadnax, III is bringing social horror to the Steinbright Stage at People's Light with Bonez.

"I thought, why not set it in the game of dominoes?" says Broadnax, the writer and director of Bonez.

"He's very interested in how to put scary on stage," says Zak Berkman, Producing Artistic Director at People's Light in Malvern, Pa.

"This is a play that will give a lot of unexpected thrills," he says.

The play is set in a luxury apartment in Dallas, Texas.

"I wanted initially to create a space where Black men can get together and be their authentic selves," says Broadnax.

A character named Trey invites a group of friends over for a men's bonding night.

"Trey is a queer character," says Keith A. Wallace, the actor who portrays Trey, a college professor, in the play.

Wallace says his character is trying to figure out how being queer plays into his personal experience within the Black community - both professionally and socially.

"A mysterious knock occurs and changes the evening, and their lives forever," says Broadnax. "We're playing with your senses, psychologically and physically, in this play."

He says audiences can expect some jump scares.

"Black horror, specifically, it's a great allegory for facing our fears," he adds.

Eric B. Robinson Jr. plays the role of Remello in Bonez.

"And it's just a great, fun time to have a lens to see what it looks like for a group of Black men to be in relation with one another," says Robinson.

The play is launching simultaneously with Queerways, PA, a residency program for writers.

Berkman says writers will be brought to the area for the program, which will focus on "local stories that look at the intersection of BIPOC experience and LGBTQ+ experience in the area."

"It's very important that we watch our young boys, and what we teach them," says Broadnax.

Wallace says things that are said to boys in their youth may seem inconsequential, but sort of really determine how they show up as men in the world.

"There are a lot of young boys in the world who find themselves being told they can't behave certain ways and those create demons inside those boys," says Berkman.

Bonez runs September 22 through October 15 at People's Light.

Bonez | Tickets

People's Light

39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA 19355