Fringe Festival Smash THE SEAT NEXT TO THE KING Returns To The Theatre Centre

Fringe Festival Smash THE SEAT NEXT TO THE KING Returns To The Theatre Centre

In September of 1964, a chance meeting between two men - one white and one black - reveals the bond they share and the ties connecting them to America's most powerful leaders in playwright Steven Elliott Jackson's stirring THE SEAT NEXT TO THE KING. After a sold-out Toronto Fringe run, director Tanisha Taitt's acclaimed production of Jackson's prize-winning play makes its highly anticipated return in a Minmar Gaslight Production in association with The Theatre Centre.

Behind the door of a public washroom in a Washington, D.C. park, two lives linked to the country's most influential figures collide when a white man seeking a sexual encounter meets a black male stranger. Winner of the 2017 Toronto Fringe New Play contest and a festival Patrons' Pick, this affecting work of historical fiction tackles race, sex, identity, and the cost of reconciling each for two disparate human beings with a shared innate need. The Seat Next To The King features blistering, soulful performances by gifted newcomers Kwaku Okyere and Conor Ling, with lighting design by Brandon Goncalves.

"Steven's script is raw, with an external simplicity that belies its internal complexity," says Taitt, known for her commitment to confronting issues of oppression and social justice. "It's an unapologetic, sexy, heartbreaking, resonant work that holds me in its hands, and it is particularly reverberant in Trumpian times. What a joy it's been to see people embrace it so passionately, and now this... I am very enamored with The Theatre Centre and all that they do for the artistic community and the community at large. To be invited to bring this production to their mainspace is a beautiful gift for which we're deeply grateful."

Jackson believes it is the piece's relevance that has struck a chord with audiences and critics alike. "Plays don't win awards or win over audiences by separating us from times long ago. They resonate by helping us connect to a time that may be closer to our current world than we realize," he asserts. "By exploring issues of masculinity, racism and sexuality, this play searches for the connections between us in times when we feel lost, frightened and bewildered - reminding us that we are not alone and will persevere."

Show Dates & Times:

Previews Sept 17th @ 2:30pm & Sept 19th @ 8:30pm; Opens Sept 20th @ 8:30pm; Runs to October 1st (Tues - Sat @ 8:30pm, Sat & Sun matinees @ 2:30pm)

Tickets: $29 adult, $22 student/senior/artsworker, $17 previews at theatrecentre.org or 416.538.0988

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