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THE ROYALE Begins After 1-Week Delay At Olney Theatre Center

Olney Theatre Center and 1st Stage's co-production of The Royale by Marco Ramirez and directed by Paige Hernandez begins its delayed run on Wednesday, October 2 at 1:45pm. The original first week of performances were cancelled when the actor had to withdraw for medical reasons just prior to the first scheduled performance.

Jay Frisby, last seen at Olney Theatre as the doctor in Roald Dahl's Matilda the Musical, steps into the role of Wynton, the trainer of aspiring heavyweight boxer, Jay "The Sport" Jackson. Press is invited to review performances beginning Thursday, October 3 at 7:45pm. Please email to reserve a seat.

Olney Theatre Artistic Director Jason Loewith says, "Paige and her cast have worked so hard to create a physical, poetic, and kinetic production of The Royale. When we lost a cast member, it became clear to my producing partner, Alex Levy at 1st Stage and myself that we owed it to the artists to take the time we needed to integrate a new actor into the ensemble. Jay Frisby is one of the nicest, smartest, hardest-working actors I know, and we are so grateful that he has undertaken this challenge."

In 1905, Jay "The Sport" Jackson (Jaysen Wright) dreams of becoming the first African American boxer to fight for the heavyweight championship. Despite racking up a string of vicious knockouts, racial segregation and his white manager's own reservations stand in the way. Inspired by the true story of Jack Johnson, The Royale breaks new ground by taking us inside the fighter's mind where the disciplined brutality of boxing reveals itself in theatrically-unforgettable choreo-poems. At stake is more than wins or losses, but equality and survival.

Jaysen Wright, who starred in 1st Stage's productions of Take Me Out and Now Comes the Night stars as Jay "The Sport" Jackson, a boxer desperate to prove himself in 1905 by fighting for the heavyweight title against the white champion. Jay Frisby returns to OTC where he has been seen in Roald Dahl's Matilda The Musical, South Pacific, Annie, and Mary Poppins, to play Jay's trainer, Wynton. Clayton Pelham, Jr. who appeared in 1st Stage's production of The Brother Size, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (Helen Hayes nomination for "Outstanding Lead Actor") and Hero's Welcome is Jay's sparring partner Fish. Chris Genebach, an OTC regular last seen in Mary Stuart, plays Jay's white manager who simultaneously seeks to exploit and protect the boxer's tremendous talent. Lolita Marie, recipient of a Helen Hayes Award for her performance in 1st Stage's Doubt, rounds out the cast as Nina, Fish's sister, an unwelcome tie to his past.

The Royale

By Marco Ramirez

Directed and Choreographed by Paige Hernandez

At Olney Theatre Center: October 2 - October 27, 2019
At 1st Stage Tysons: January 30, 2020 - February 23, 2020

At Olney Theatre Center, regular performances are Wednesday-Saturday at 7:45 pm; matinees on Saturday and Sunday at 1:45 pm; Wednesday matinee on October 2 at 1:45 pm.

There will be an Audio-described performance for the blind and visually impaired on Wednesday, October 9 at 7:45 pm. There will be a Sign-interpreted performance on Thursday, October 17 at 7:45 pm.

Tickets begin at $54. Discounts available for groups, seniors, military and students.

  • Night at the Movies: Creed (2015)
    Saturday, October 19 at 8:15pm
    Historic Theatre

Adonis Johnson (Michael B. Jordan) never knew his famous father, boxing champion Apollo Creed, who died before Adonis was born. However, boxing is in his blood, so he seeks out Rocky Balboa (Sylvester Stallone) and asks the retired champ to be his trainer. Rocky sees much of Apollo in Adonis, and agrees to mentor him, even as he battles an opponent deadlier than any in the ring. With Rocky's help, Adonis soon gets a title shot.but whether he has the true heart of a fighter remains to be seen.

  • Post-show discussions will occur after the following Saturday matinee performances:
    • October 5, 12, 19 and 26

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