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Bonez
September 22 October 15
Bonez
September 22 October 15
World Premiere
September 22-October 15, 2023
Written & Directed by Steve H. Broadnax III Steinbright Stage
A game of dominoes takes a chilling turn.

Knock. The bruhs gather to slap "bonez" at Trey’s “de-luxe apartment in the sky.” Knock. As drinks flow, dominoes are drawn, bets escalate and the game intensifies; all the while a mysterious banging grows louder and louder next door. KNOCK. Before long, childhood demons are revealed, causing the men to question what they think they know about masculinity, intimacy, and what makes a man, in this social horror from acclaimed writer/director Steve H. Broadnax III (Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland, director of Broadway's Thoughts of a Colored Man).

Recommended for ages 16+ due to strong language and mature themes. Read the content advisory.

Lead support for Bonez is provided by the William Penn Foundation. Additional support is provided by the National Endowment for the Arts.

BONEZ on 6abc
Cast and Creative Team
Playwright & Director
Scenic Designer
Shilla Benning
Costume Designer
Lighting Designer
Sound Designer
Projections Designer
Intimacy/Fight Director
Dramaturg
Therapeutic Support
Patrese D. McClain
Associate Director
Audrey M. Brown
Stage Manager
Discover More
THE BONEYARD
A limited series podcast with new episodes every Friday during the run of BONEZ. A fresh, energetic and intentional gathering space; a masculine...
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Nights of Fright: A Festival of Black Horror
A weekend of haunting thrills in collaboration with the Colonial Theatre! Spirited celebrations, ponderous podcasts, and terrifying movies abound.
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BONEZ program
Read the program.
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Bones and Stories: Things that Last
A note by Penny L. Washington on the significance of bones, ghost stories, and ritual in Black history.
Read More
Audience Reactions to BONEZ
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Enhance Your Experience
Relaxed Performance

Relaxed Performances offer a judgment-free environment that invites individuals with autism, ADHD, dementia, and other sensory sensitivities to enjoy theatre in a relaxed, “shush-free” zone—a great option for parents with young children, too. For each Relaxed Performance, we offer a pre-show Sensory Tour, during which patrons are able to enter the theatre space, view the set and props, and ask questions. This RP features audio description and ASL interpretation.

Sunday, October 8 at 2pm

Open Captioning

During every performance this week, dialogue appears on an LED screen placed near the stage to benefit patrons with hearing impairments, as well as English language learners.

October 10–15

Audio Description

Headsets provide commentary on the visual aspects of a performance. This supplemental narration interweaves with the real-time, spoken dialogue.

Sunday, October 8 at 2pm

American Sign Language Interpretation

This performance features American Sign Language interpretation provided by Hands UP Productions. This is also a Relaxed Performance.

Sunday, October 8 at 2pm

Access Nights

To expand access to our work, we offer 50%-off Access Nights throughout the season. The discount is automatic for these performances, no promo code required.

Friday, September 22 at 7pm
Tuesday, October 10 at 7pm

Intersecting Realities: Defining and Surviving Masculinity

The next installment of our Intersecting Realities post-show discussion series, where we take a topic relevant to the play at hand and invite community partners and experts to join actors for a conversation. Join us after the 2pm Bonez Relaxed Performance for an audience experience curated and facilitated by community and cultural worker Matthew Armstead. Part panel discussion and part folk-talk, this event will look to build a collective understanding of masculinity in all of its forms.

Sunday, October 8

AfterWORDS

After a brief hiatus, our AfterWORDS post-show talkback series will return by popular demand! Join us every Thursday night after performances for a post-show discussion, or folk-talk, where audience members will be given a chance to process and ask questions about the piece they’ve just witnessed. Each AfterWORDS will be moderated by a People’s Light staff member, who may be joined by a member of the cast or creative team.

Thursday nights: 9/28, 10/5, and 10/12

Nights of Fright: A Festival of Black Horror

A weekend of horror and thrills, where all the ghosts and ghouls come out to play! Starting with a kick-off on Friday the 13th, this celebration in collaboration with the Colonial Theatre will pay homage to the genre of Black Horror, with everything a Halloween fan could want: a live podcast recording of Black Women are Scary with special guest Steve H. Broadnax III, screenings of short films by local Black horror filmmakers and the original Candyman (1992), and much, much more!

CLICK HERE for details and tickets.

October 13–15

Dominoes Tournament

Supplement seeing Bonez by throwing bones! On October 4th, we will host a dominoes night at the Melton Center in West Chester. While you play, enjoy a brief performance from the cast of Bonez, as well as pointers and tips from our very own dominoes expert Kevin Stroman! Refreshments will be provided. Free to attend with RSVP: email Renee Washington at rwashington@meltoncenter.org to register.

Wednesday, October 4, 7:00-9:00pm at the Melton Center (West Chester)

HBCU Day

A community event celebrating Historically Black Colleges and Universities, as well as collegiate Black student organizations and populations across Chester County. Patrons in attendance are encouraged to show their school spirit and wear their favorite HBCU attire or their Greek life apparel! Gathering is encouraged in the lobby after the 2pm performance.

Sunday, September 24

Pride Night

We welcome our LGBTQIA+ community along with their friends and families to this night’s performance. Before the 7pm performance, there will be space for our Pride Night community to gather, alongside tables for community partners to share resources. Stay for the post-performance AfterWORDS folk-talk for a lively discussion!

Thursday, September 28

West Chester Day

In collaboration with the Melton Center, we’ll be celebrating our first ever West Chester Day! West Chester residents, friends, and families are encouraged to come out to People’s Light for the 2pm performance of Bonez and recognize the communities of the County Seat of Chester County.

Saturday, October 7

What's the Buzz?
"We're playing with your senses, psychologically and physically, in this play."
Steve H. Broadnax on 6abc
  • 6abc: People's Light set to stage 'Bonez', a social horror show about the Black male experience

    "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"
    —Actor Eric Robinson Jr.

     Read the article from 6abc

  • Philadelphia Gay News: Malvern-based nonprofit theater company to showcase stories of LGBTQ+ people of color

    "Specifically, I’m trying to unearth where men’s definitions of masculinity come from, especially when you’re dealing with their childhood, other men in their life. Where do we get being a man and how being a man is defined as, and where were those definitions programmed into us as boys? The horror part is because I believe that whatever definitions that you program in young boys, it haunts them in their manhood" 
    —Director Steve H. Broadnax

    Read the article from Philadelphia Gay News

  • WHYY: People’s Light launches queer playwriting program with a horror story

    “Members of the community were saying, ‘We haven’t really been talking about this. We weren’t talking about it then, we haven’t been talking about it now'...It would be really wonderful to have these kinds of conversations more frequently”
    —Producing Artistic Director Zak Berkman

    Read the article from WHYY

  • The Philadelphia Tribune: People's Light presents a chilling investigation of masculinity in 'Bonez'

    "[I]t will definitely take audiences to the edge of their seats..."
    —Actor Eric Robinson Jr.

    Read the article from The Philadelphia Tribune