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JITENY at the Black Rep at the Edison Theater on the University of Washington campus

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The St. Louis Black Rep continued its 45th season tonight with the first preview performance of JITNEY by August Wilson at the Edison Theater on the University of Washington campus. JITNEY is the eighth play in Wilson’s ten-play cycle that examines each decade of the 20th century. His goal in creating his masterful series of ten dramas was to portray both the joys and struggles of the African-American experience in the 20th century.

Set in the Hill District of Pittsburgh in 1977, JITNEY examines the impacts of rapid urban renewal. During this time, licensed taxi companies refused to transport passengers to the Hill District, so unlicensed taxis called jitneys played a crucial role in this district. In JITNEY, the emphasis is on relationships. Booster, an estranged son, tries to reconcile with his father Becker after he returns from prison. The five cabbies explore issues facing African American men in the 1970s, family relationships, work issues, alcoholism, past experiences and mentoring optimism for the youngest’s future. jitney driver. Proud business owner Becker faces the destruction of the worn building where Becker’s car service is located and is troubled by the return of his son who had been incarcerated for 20 years, convicted for the murder of a woman.

The entire cast gives stellar performances to drive a sometimes dramatic and often funny narrative. Kevin Brown’s rich performance as Becker conveyed deep disappointment and anger at a grown child who made choices that impacted both of their lives. When he confronts his son, his physical and verbal acting choices express extreme pain and immense disappointment at what his child has become. His performance, combined with those of J. Samuel Davis as Fielding, Olajuwon Davis as Youngblood, Edward L. Hill as Doub, and Ron Himes as Turnbo, delivers both intense drama and comedic timing. flawless. Their ensemble work is exceptional and is reinforced by their realistic and believable performances.

JITNEY by The Black Rep is yet another incredible production in their dynamic 45th anniversary season. This show is filled with emotions and themes that are still relevant in our world today.

The Black Rep’s performance of JITNEY is at the Edison Theater on the University of Washington campus through May 29, 2020. For tickets and more information, visit Theblackrep.org or call the box office at 314-534 -3807.