Centre Theatre Presents THE EMPEROR JONES, 3/4
Brutus Jones, an African American train porter and ex-con, has taken control of an island in the Caribbean. Setting himself up as an "Emperor" he takes advantage of the natives
superstition and naivety to make himself rich.
A native rebellion forces Jones to run for his life through the jungle night with the pounding of drums growing louder and louder. Jones physical journey is accompanied by haunting images of his and his
race's past in Eugene O'Neill's masterpiece "The Emperor Jones."
"The Emperor Jones" opens March 4 and runs through March 27 at the Centre Theater, Norristown's professional theater at 208 DeKalb St. in downtown Norristown. Show times are 8
p.m. with Sunday matinees at 2 p.m.
The rarely produced drama examines issues of spirituality, colonialism, madness and freedom. The play is particularly relevant today given the rebellions against dictatorships erupting throughout the world. "Even though the play was written in the early 20th century, the issues are the same ones people in Egypt are dealing with," said Director John Doyle. "Despots who have set themselves up as dictator."
Iron Age Theatre's production of the play digs deeply into O'Neill's expressionistic style. A wildly theatrical play incorporating masks, live music, and intense physical movement as well as a dense, realistic bamboo jungle set and powerfully drawn characters, the play will be a thrill ride as Jones runs from the insurgents and his own primal fear.
"The Emperor Jones" features Kash Goins as Brutus Jones. Goins is one of the fastest rising starts in the Philadelphia region and the director of GOKASH productions. He is a writer, director producer and innovator who spearheaded this fall's Philadelphia Urban Theatre Festival. He played John Henry in the Centre Theater's world premiere of "The Life of John Henry" by Chris Braak. Supporting Goins is Luke Moyer, who plays the Emperor's cynical British crony. Moyer, was last seen in the world premier of "Molumby's Million" and "The Rear Column" at The Centre Theater. Tiffany Joyner, Rich Bradford, Maurice Tucker round out the ensemble. Josh Cameron who made his stage debut in The Rear Column will also be part of the cast Eugene O'Neill is considered the greatest American playwright. A multiple Pulitzer Prize winner, his dramas such as "Moon for the Misbegotten," and "Long Days Journey Into Night" defined American theater and are still among the greatest plays written.
"The Emperor Jones" was written in 1920 as a response to America's manipulation of events in Haiti. O'Neill's short, brutal play, challenges our perceptions of African American theatre. It is a white writer's vision but, historically, it was the first serious
American play to encompass black experience.
To purchase tickets please call 610-279-1013 or online a http://thecentretheater.ticketleap.com/emperorjones/