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August 20, 2014

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Police Badge
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Joe Satran/The Huffington Post

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Scott Olson via Getty Images

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ASSOCIATED PRESS

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Sanaa Lathan Returns to Theater in Lynn Nottage's New Play, 'Be the Way, Meet Vera Stark'

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Tony Award nominee and NCAAP Image Award winner Sanaa Lathan will play the title role of Vera Stark in Lynn Nottage's new play, 'Be the Way, Meet Vera Stark.'

The New York native recently starred as Maggie the Cat in the West End revival of 'Cat on a Hot Tin Roof.' Her previous theater credits include: Beneatha Younger in 'A Raisin in the Sun' with Sean Combs, for which she received a Tony nomination.

This world-premiere comedy will also feature the previously announced Stephanie J. Block, Daniel Breaker, Kimberly Hebert Gregory, Kevin Isola and Tony Award-winner Karen Olivo.

Directed by Jo Bonney, 'Be the Way, Meet Vera Stark' is Nottage's first play to be produced in New York since she won the Pulitzer Prize for 'Ruined' in 2009.

The comedy draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood.

'Be the Way, Meet Vera Stark' is a 70-year journey through the life of Vera Stark, a headstrong African American maid and budding actress, and her tangled relationship with her boss, a white Hollywood star (Stephanie J. Block) desperately grasping to hold on to her career. When circumstances collide and both women land roles in the same Southern epic, the story behind the cameras leaves Vera with a surprising and controversial legacy scholars will debate for years to come.

The production will begin preview performances on April 6 and officially open on May 9.

Lathan, who currently voices the animated character Donna Tubbs on the TV series 'The Cleveland Show,' just finished shooting Steven Soderbergh's film, 'Contagion' with Laurence Fishburne.

Recently, she met up with the cast of Malcolm D. Lee's 1999 film 'The Best Man,' where she reunited with Nia Long, Taye Diggs and Terrence Howard.

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