True Blood's Nelsan Ellis to direct Katori Hall's HooDoo Love

Nelsan Ellis

Nelsan Ellis

Actor Nelsan Ellis, known for playing Lafayette Reynolds on HBO's supernatural series True Blood, will direct the Chicago premiere of Katori Hall's HooDoo Love this fall at the Athenaeum Theatre. Hall's magic-tinged tale, set in the American South of the 1930s, will mark the debut of the Collective Theatre, an African-American-focused theater company newly formed by a group of six friends, including Ellis, who first worked together in the mid-’90s as students at Thornridge High School in south suburban Dolton.

Hall won the 2010 Olivier Award for The Mountaintop, an imagined version of Martin Luther King Jr.'s final night that later had a Broadway run starring Samuel L. Jackson and Angela Bassett. Ellis, coincidentally, was recently cast as King in the star-studded upcoming film The Butler. The cast of HooDoo Love, which runs September 22–October 21, will include Christophé Abiel, Toni Lynice Fountain, Mark Smith and Lynn Wactor. Tickets are available now at

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