Play by William Jackson Harper from “The Good Place” stars Queens resident

Actor and Queens resident Bjorn DuPaty will star in “Travisville,” a new play written by actor and playwright William Jackson Harper, who fans of the NBC series “The Good Place” will recognize as the bespectacled Nigerian ethics professor, Chidi Anagonye.

“Travisville” depicts how a group of black ministers grapple with the best way to fight for their parishioners as they run the risk of being forced out of their neighborhood by white politicians. They are being viewed as a detriment to the town’s entertainment value.

An outsider and activist comes to encourage property owners. Residents of Travisville will debate whether equality is something that is taken by force or is achieved slowly over time—a timeless and timely question.

Although a new play, the story of “Travisville” is really a recap of history. New York audiences will travel down to the South and back to the 1960s Civil Rights Movement and watch a story that parallels the history of Dallas, TX.

When the Civil Rights Act was passed in 1964, news of it was received with eruptions of violence in towns across the United States, particularly in the South. But the city of Dallas prided itself on having more peaceful race relations than other cities.

Bombings had rocked the city a decade earlier, but local black ministers came to a truce with the white politicians in power. The city remained segregated, and black citizens didn’t need to fear for their lives. When a plan to expand the city’s historic fairgrounds required the displacement of the mostly black neighborhood around it, residents had to choose between going quietly and preserving the peace, or protect their neighborhood and risk violence.

Bjorn, a resident of Queens, but Chicago native has been acting on television and on the New York stage for the past decade and has received acclaim for his role the title character in “Julius Caesar.”

Tickets for “Travisville” are now on sale for $30, with tickets for students and seniors available for $25. The performance schedule is as follows: Wednesday – Saturday at 7pm, Saturday at 2pm, and Sunday at 5pm. Tickets can be purchased at www.ensemblestudiotheatre.org.

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