The Old Globe Presents: “Trouble in Mind”

Maggie Walters as Judy Sears, Ramona Keller as Wiletta Mayer, Bibi Mama as Millie Davis, and Michael Zachary Tunstill as John Nevins in Trouble in Mind, 2022. Photo by Rich Soublet II.

Kicking off Black History Month, The Old Globe proudly presents “Trouble in Mind,” a thrilling new production of a too-often American classic written by actress and playwright Alice Childress, directed by Old Globe Resident artist Delicia Turner Sonnenberg.

The time period is New York, 1955. A leading Black actress and a multiracial cast rehearse a challenging new Broadway play set in the South. Backstage rivalries and showbiz egos cause excitement of their own, but artistic differences between the cast and the White director soon bubble to the surface, revealing the truths that American drama covers over and the ways in which even well-meaning people can harm others under the guise of helping. The New York Times recently called Alice Childress’s groundbreaking Trouble in Mind “a rich, unsettling play that lingers in one’s memory long after its conclusion.”

“Alice Childress’s powerful and transporting backstage drama couldn’t be more timely, and we’re thrilled to kick off 2022 with a brilliant new production of it,” said Erna Finci Viterbi Artistic Director Barry Edelstein. “The play examines race in America unexpectedly and bracingly through the lens of the American theatre, and it does so with a searching intelligence, an open heart, and a beguiling sense of how rich and complex life onstage can be. It takes a given company to assay this extraordinary material, and happily that is just what director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg has assembled. Onstage and off, these skilled and incisive artists will bring Trouble in Mind to life with wit and passion, and they will continue the Globe on its trajectory toward post-pandemic vitality.”

CAST: The cast for Trouble in Mind includes Tom Bloom as Henry (Broadway’s Henry IV), Kevin Isola as Al Manners (Broadway’s Brooklyn Boy), Ramona Keller as Wiletta Mayer (Broadway’s Caroline, or Change), Bibi Mama as Millie Davis (La Jolla Playhouse’s Ancient), Jake Millgard as Eddie Fenton (The Old Globe’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream), Victor Morris as Sheldon Forrester (The Old Globe’s The Ruby in Us), Mike Sears as Bill O’Wray (The Old Globe’s What You Are), Michael Zachary Tunstill as John Nevins (Arena Stage’s Seven Guitars), and Maggie Walters as Judy Sears (The Old Globe’s Henry IV, Part I and current student of The Old Globe and University of San Diego Shiley Graduate Theatre Program).

Understudies for Trouble in Mind include Henian BooneBrett CassidyJoel CastellawDesiree ClarkeSavannah FayeKomi M. GbeblewouBecca LustgartenJeffrey RashadJude Tibeau, and Nathan Van Atta

CREATIVE TEAM: In addition to director Delicia Turner Sonnenberg, the creative team for the Globe’s production of Trouble in Mind includes scenic design by Lawrence E. Moten III, costume design by Nicole Jescinth Smith, lighting design by Sherrice Mojgani, sound design by Luqman Brown, casting by Kelly Gillespie, CSA and Joseph Gery, local casting by Kim Heil, CSA and Lamar Perry, and production stage management by Chandra R.M. Anthenill.

HISTORY OF THE PLAY: Trouble in Mind is the first professionally produced play written by Alice Childress, a pioneering African American playwright. Childress directed the first production of the play, which premiered Off Broadway at the Greenwich Mews Theatre on November 5, 1955. Arthur Gelb of The New York Times called Trouble in Mind a “fresh, funny, lively, and cutting satire,” while critic Harry Raymond of The Daily Worker declared it “a sparkling drama of protest… which bubbles with humor and at the same time has deep meaning.”

RUNS: February 5 – March 13, 2022.

THEATRE: Donald and Darlene Shiley Stage in the Old Globe Theatre, part of the Globe’s Conrad Prebys Theatre Center PERFORMANCE

SCHEDULE: Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:00 p.m., Thursdays and Fridays at 8:00 p.m., Saturdays at 2:00 p.m. and 8:00 p.m., and Sundays at 2:00 p.m. and 7:00 p.m.

TICKETS: Tickets are available online at, by phone at (619) 23-GLOBE (234-5623), or in person at our Box Office in Balboa Park. Regular ticket prices start at $29.

COVID-19 SAFETY POLICY: The Old Globe continues to prioritize the safety of its audiences, artists, and staff. All patrons who attend the Trouble in Mind will be required to either be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 and present proof of vaccination, or provide proof of the negative results of a COVID-19 PCR test taken within 72 hours of entering the theatre. Masks are required at all times while indoors.

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