John Douglas Thompson Reprises Role In JITNEY In Staged Reading Benefiting Boston's The Front Porch Arts Collective
Tony Award nominee and Elliot Norton Award winner John Douglas Thompson revives his Tony-nominated role in a staged reading of Jitney as a benefit for the Front Porch Arts Collective, Boston's newest Black theatre company. The reading will take place at the South End/Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA (527 Tremont St., Boston) on Monday, September 16 at 6:30pm. Single tickets are pay what you wish starting at $25 and can be purchased by visiting bostontheatrescene.com.Thompson is joined by area theatre stalwarts Johnny Lee Davenport (black odyssey boston, Thurgood), and Christopher Edwards (Actors' Shakespeare Project). Rounding out the cast are other Boston area favorites including Brandon Green and Elle Borders (the leads of the Front Porch's acclaimed production of black odyssey boston), and Maurice Emmanuel Parent (Romeo and Juliet and Skeleton Crew at the Huntington, and the co-founder of the Front Porch Arts Collective). Dr Monica White Ndounou, fresh from her work at the National Black Theatre Festival, will be at the helm of this beautifully poignant story of a group of Black men trying to make a living. Tensions, secrets, and a prodigal son all threaten to undo the ties that bind these people together. John Douglas Thompson returns to Boston after his thrilling performance in Man in the Ring at the Huntington Theatre Company which garnered him the 2019 Elliot Norton Award for Outstanding Actor - Large Theatre. Along with his highly acclaimed, Tony Award-nominated performance as "Becker" in Jitney in 2017, Mr. Thompson has also appeared in Carousel, A Time to Kill, Cyrano de Bergerac, and most recently King Lear starring Glenda Jackson on Broadway. In 2015, he was awarded a Drama Desk Special Award for "invigorating theatre in New York through his commanding presence, classical expertise, and vocal prowess."August Wilson (Playwright) authored How I Learned What I Learned (2016 at the Huntington), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (2012), Fences (2009), Radio Golf (2006), Gem of the Ocean (2004), King Hedley II (2000), Jitney (1998), Seven Guitars (1995), Two Trains Running (1990), The Piano Lesson (1988), and Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1986). These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans decade-by-decade over the course of the 20th century. Mr. Wilson's plays have been produced at regional theatres across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson's works garnered many awards, including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987) and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as eight New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, Jitney, and Radio Golf. The cast recording of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award. Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. His early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, a 1999 National Humanities Medal awarded by the President of the United States, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway named the theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street The August Wilson Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. Dr Monica White Ndounou (Director) is Associate Professor of Theater, Public Voices Fellow (2019-2020), and Sony Music Fellow (2017-2018) at Dartmouth College. She is the immediate past president of the Black Theatre Association of (ATHE) as well as the convener of the 2018 International Black Theatre Summit at Dartmouth College hosted in collaboration with The CRAFT Institute, a nonprofit organization she founded and serves as executive director. The organization focuses on fixing broken pipelines into arts and entertainment by overhauling formal training across platforms to more accurately reflect national and global demographics. In addition to performing a range of roles, her directing credits include new works and plays by August Wilson, Ntozake Shange, and many others. She is the award-winning author of Shaping the Future of African American Film: Color- Coded Economics and the Story Behind the Numbers. Her current book project, Acting Your Color: The Craft, Power and Paradox of Acting for Black Americans 1950s to the present is part of a multi-media project exploring black American acting theories and practices.