The Death of the Last Black Man cast on stage; Daniel J. Watt's character crouches and holds a watermelon with both hands
Photo by Joan Marcus

"This is the production that comes to mind at this particular time in American history. Under the direction of Lileana Blain-Cruz, this staging stands as a testament to why Black theatre matters and is essential to resisting white supremacy." – Ayshia Stephenson, Howlround (October 2020)

Four years after the November 2016 production, Signature playwright Suzan-Lori ParksThe Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World AKA the Negro Book of the Dead returns to Signature’s (virtual) stage! Join us for this one-time-only reunion reading featuring members of the original cast and directed by Lileana Blain-Cruz. This spell-binding theatrical event weaves audiences through the life and repeated death of the last Black man in the world, using poetry, historical fiction, and Biblical references to challenge deep-seated archetypes of Black life. Born out of the company’s desire to come together as we encroach upon another important presidential election in what has been labeled one of the most racially tumultuous years in recent history, Parks’ work is as sharp, soul-stirring and urgent as ever.

This reunion reading will be broadcast on October, 27 at 6:00pm EDT and directly followed by a live talkback with playwright Suzan-Lori Parks, director Lileana Blain-Cruz, and the cast of our Obie award-winning production! We are making the reunion reading (excluding the talkback) a limited-time release available to watch on demand after the broadcast, expiring at 6:00pm on October 31.


Brittany Bellizeare, William Demeritt, Patrena Murray, Reynaldo Piniella, Julian Rozzell, Roslyn Ruff, Mirirai Sithole, David Ryan Smith, Daniel J. Watts, Jamar Williams, and Amelia Workman. Nike Kadri performed in Signature's 2016 production.  

Stage Manager

Terri K. Kohler  


As we revisit this all-too-relevant story that sheds light on the ongoing violence against Black lives, we'd like to highlight a couple of our friends doing important work to advance racial justice in the arts. This event is free to attend, and in lieu of a price of admission we ask that you consider supporting these organizations. 


Founded by cast member Mirirai Sithole, AYE DEFY is a team of co-creators currently including Thomas Dieter, Leslie Roth and Victoria Teague. Since June 2020, they have partnered with institutions as well as multi-hyphenate, cross-genre artists to craft unique and engaging narratives that inspire changes in the entertainment industry. AYE DEFY has been creating new models of partnering and producing work in the virtual space and with these donations will continue to develop virtual programming and offer work opportunities to artists. Donate to support this company working to advocate for equity, inclusion and empowerment in front of and behind the scenes of theatre, television and film.



Black Boys Do Theater is a digital platform, community, and movement dedicated to amplifying black voices in theater. Black Boys Do Theater - Artist Relief Grant is a donation campaign to help support black artists in need of financial support due to the theatre shutdown caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.



Without your support and presence, these SigSpace events would not be what they are. Please consider making a gift to sustain Signature as we plan for our reopening and our future.
October 27 - October 31
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