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Arizona Theatre Company Opens 53rd Season with THE ROYALE

Arizona Theatre Company Opens 53rd Season with THE ROYALE

Arizona Theatre Company kicks off the 2019/2020 season, its 53rd, with Marco Ramirez' power-packed boxing drama, The Royale, a deeply theatrical and emotionally moving story loosely based on the life of the world's first African-American heavyweight boxing champion, Jack Johnson, Sept. 7-28 at the Temple of Music & Art in Tucson and Oct. 3-20 at the Herberger Theater Center in Phoenix.

Described as "original and graceful" by The New York Times, The Royale explores one man's struggle while reflecting on a bigger one in the midst of Jim Crow's south in 1910. It's also the story of a brother and his sister who remains his greatest adversary and strongest motivation as he struggles for glory and respect.

And it's a boxing story without a single fist-driven punch being thrown.

Playwright Marco Ramirez, whose plays have been produced at Lincoln Center Theater, The Kennedy Center, The Humana Festival, The Old Globe (San Diego), The Bush Theatre (London) and American Theater Company, among others, also has built both a reputation and a following as a TV writer for hits including Marvel's Daredevil(Netflix) The Defenders(Netflix), Sons of Anarchy(FX) and Orange is the New Black(Netflix).

"Marco Ramirez and Michael John Garcés are two of the most exciting artists working in our country today. To have their work, and them, in our space and cities is a great way to start this next chapter of Arizona Theatre Company," Daniels said. "This show has won Best New Play in New York, LA, London, and Boston - it's time for it to come to Arizona and for these two lead artists to begin their long relationship with us. Ten years ago this month, I directed a new play reading at the Kennedy Center in Washington, D.C. by a fresh-out-of-college kid named Marco Ramirez - so it feels like it's come full circle that we begin our next 10 years here."

Directed by Garcés, artistic director at the community-engaged ensemble Cornerstone Theater Company in Los Angeles, The Royale features award-winning actor Bechir Sylvain as Jay, OBIE winner Edwin Lee Gibson as Wynton, Roberto Antonio Martin in his ATC debut as Fish, veteran actor Erica Chamblee as Nina and Peter Howard, in his first ATC appearance, as Max.

Garcés is no stranger to Arizona having spent much of the past two years working on Native Nation, a new work by Sicangu Lakota playwright Larissa Fasthorse that was commissioned by ASU Gammage and presented by Cornerstone Theater Company.

The Royale is also the first of two shows selected by ATC Artistic Director Daniels in his inaugural season that includes Silent Sky, Cabaret, "Master Harold" ... and the Boys, The Legend of Georgia McBride and Women in Jeopardy!, which Daniels selected and will direct to close the season.

For more information, go to or call the box office in Tucson at (520) 622-2823 or in Phoenix at (602) 256-6995.

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