Dutton’s one-man autobiographical play FROM JAIL TO YALE: SERVING TIME ON STAGE is the riveting personal story and narrative of the life of actor Charles S Dutton, who spent a total of fourteen years in and out of the United States Prison System, before discovering the theatre whilst in prison – and thus changing his life.
After his release from prison, Dutton was accepted at the prestigious Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut.
Charles S Dutton went on to become one of America’s premier stage actors, nominated twice for Tony Awards on Broadway for the plays of August Wilson – MA RAINEY’S BLACK BOTTOM and THE PIANO LESSON. Dutton was also nominated five times for Emmy Awards in television, winning three of these: one for directing the critically acclaimed HBO Mini Series THE CORNER in 2000. Dutton has also been nominated for Golden Globe, Screen Actors Guild and Directors Guild of America Awards.
However, the actor is probably most widely known in South Africa as the star and executive producer of the Fox comedy/drama sitcom ROC and from his TV appearances in HOUSE, THE SOPRANOS and the HBO series, OZ.
All of these accomplishments occurred after he dropped out of school at age 12, spent five years in juvenile prisons and at age 17 went to adult prisons until the age of 26. Dutton graduated from Yale University in 1983.
FROM JAIL TO YALE: SERVING TIME ON STAGE is an informative, inspiring, very self effacing and dramatic narrative of Charles S Dutton’s personal story, intertwined with a medley of scenes from many of the great playwrights that the actor has performed in his stage career. In his stage show, Dutton relates how he grew up on the streets of Baltimore, then discovered his passion for acting whilst serving a seven-year term in prison, where he directed and acted in his first play.
Performances of FROM JAIL TO YALE: SERVING TIME ON STAGE will be presented as part of this year’s ARTS ALIVE theatre programme at The Fringe at Joburg theatre.