Full Cast of TONI STONE by Lydia R. Diamond Announced at Arena Stage
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater has announced the company for Toni Stone, written by Arena alumna resident playwright Lydia R. Diamond. Set in the 1950s, Toni Stone was the first woman to play baseball in the Negro Leagues, also making her the first woman to play professionally in a men's league. Against all odds, Stone blazed a path in the male-dominated sports world, shattering expectations and creating her own set of rules.
Award-winning playwright Diamond (Arena's Smart People, The Bluest Eye) tells the dynamic and uplifting story of Stone's journey of perseverance and resilience just to do what she loved the most - play baseball. Directed by Pam MacKinnon, Toni Stone runs April 23 - May 31, 2020 in the Kreeger Theater.
Based on Curveball, The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone by Martha Ackmann and commissioned by Roundabout Theatre Company and Samantha Barrie, Toni Stone received development support from the Resident Artists Program at Arena Stage, Washington, D.C. This production is in association with American Conservatory Theater (A.C.T.) and Roundabout Theatre Company, where it received its world premiere in May 2019.
"I am so proud of this production and play - more than seven years in the making," explains MacKinnon. "Bringing Miss Toni Stone's story from my home theater of A.C.T. in San Francisco to Arena Stage, steps away from Nationals Park, is a dream."
"We've been following Toni Stone for several years," shares Artistic Director Molly Smith. "I have loved this project from the first I heard of it from Samantha Barrie, who has been a stalwart champion of the play as it developed. Lydia R. Diamond is a brilliant playwright and has written an important play highlighting a story that has not been told on stage before. Having Pam MacKinnon as director makes this production a home run."
Returning to Arena Stage includes JaBen Early (Arena's Junk) as King Tut, Sean-Maurice Lynch (Arena's Jubliee) as Stretch and Helen Hayes Award-winner Dawn Ursula (Arena's A Raisin in the Sun) as Toni Stone.
Making their Arena debuts are Daniel J. Bryant (Roundabout's Toni Stone) as Spec , Kenn E. Head (FOX's Empire) as Millie, Marquis D. Gibson (Studio Theatre's Wig Out!) as Jimmy, Ray Shell (West End's Starlight Express and The Lion King) as Alberga, Rodney Earl Jackson, Jr. (Broadway's Book of Mormon) as Elzie and Jarrod Smith (A.C.T.'s The Royale) as Woody.
In addition to MacKinnon, the creative team includes Choreographer Camille A. Brown, Set Designer Riccardo Hernández, Costume Designer Dede Ayite, Lighting Designer Allen Lee Hughes, Sound Designer and Original Music Broken Chord, Hair and Wigs Designer Cookie Jordan, Dramaturg Allie Moss, Casting Directors Janet Foster, CSA & Victor Vazquez, CSA, Stage Manager Elisa Guthertz and Assistant Stage Manager Kurt Hall.
Lydia R. Diamond (Playwright) is an award-winning playwright whose work includes Toni Stone, Smart People, Stick Fly (Broadway run at Cort Theatre), Voyeurs de Venus, Harriet Jacobs and The Bluest Eye. Producing theaters include: American Conservatory Theater, Arena Stage, Congo Square, Second Stage, Company One, Goodman, The Guthrie, Huntington, MPAACT, Roundabout Theatre Company, Steppenwolf and McCarter Theatre Center. Diamond has been a W. E. B. DuBois Harvard Fellow, a Harvard Radcliffe Institute Fellow, a Huntington Playwright Fellow, and a NEA/TCG playwright, and is the 2020 recipient of the Horton Foote Playwriting Award. Lydia was a writer/consulting producer for Showtime's fourth season of The Affair (nominated for a Writer's Guild Award - Best Drama, episode 407). Lydia is on faculty at University of Illinois Chicago.
PLAN YOUR VISIT
TICKETS: Tickets for Toni Stone are $41-95, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as pay-your-age tickets, student discounts, Southwest Nights and hero's discounts, visit arenastage.org/tickets/savings-programs.
Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.org, by phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth Street, SW, D.C.
Sales Office/Subscriptions: 202-488-3300
Group Sales Hotline for 10+ Tickets: 202-488-4380
TTY for deaf patrons: 202-484-0247
Info for patrons with disabilities: 202-488-3300
Sunday, Tuesday & Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Friday & Saturday at 8 p.m.
Saturday & Sunday at 2 p.m.
Weekday matinees at noon on Wednesday, May 6, Wednesday, May 13 and Tuesday, May 19.
Closed captioning: GalaPro begins Friday, May 1
Open-captioned performance: Thursday, May 28 8 p.m.
Audio-described performance: Saturday, May 30 at 2 p.m.
Southwest Night: Tuesday, May 24 at 7:30 p.m.
Full Calendar: arenastage.org/tickets/calendar
Photo Credit: Walter McBride / WM Photos