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FORT WORTH, Texas (June 18, 2021) - You might be able to stop the dreamers, but no one can stop the dream; even in the deep trenches of the Mississippi Delta.
Jubilee Theatre, in partnership with Performing Arts Fort Worth, proudly presents Southern Boys: Sons of Sharecroppers, the highly acclaimed musical stage production, written by Kathy D. Harrison, directed by D. Wambui Richardson, with musical direction by Steven A. Taylor. It comes to Bass Performance Hall for live in-person performances July 29-August 15 with streaming shows continuing through August 29 at jubileetheatre.org.
Harrison’s musical brings to life the beginning of America’s historic post-slavery era through the eyes of emancipated slaves and their free children, with all its jubilant excitement as well as its debilitating realities.
President Lincoln has signed the Emancipation Proclamation. The North has won the Civil War. Reconstruction has begun. Those freed are making their transition from slavery to freedom, ready to fulfill their new dreams and “make something of themselves.” Their first opportunities come -- ironically -- as sharecroppers on the very plantation where they were enslaved.
The brutal and demeaning conditions of sharecropping take their toll on their aspirations to realize REAL freedom. Is going from slavery to sharecropping like going from the frying pan into the fire?
Hopes and dreams start to dissipate – except for 17-year-old Johnny. In spite of the increasing disillusionment felt by everyone around him, he dares to keep on dreaming. He hears the loud horn of a train approaching near the fields – heading north. Will he catch that train and jump on in to a new, unknown world? If so, who, if anyone, will follow?
Southern Boys: Sons of Sharecroppers was nominated for Best Musical at the 2020 New York Theatre Festival. The production also received rave reviews at the North Carolina Black Repertory Company.
“What a tremendous culmination to a 40th Anniversary Season in pandemic mode,” said Christie M. Howard, Jubilee Theatre’s Managing Director. “Jubilee Theatre is elated to have the opportunity to perform our work on the Bass Hall stage. Sharing a story about perceived victory, surprising challenges, and unyielding perseverance is more than timely as these are the themes that are resonant in the very spirit of Fort Worth's rich performing arts community.”
“We are thrilled to partner with Jubilee Theatre to present Southern Boys at Bass Performance Hall,” said Performing Arts Fort Worth President & CEO Dione Kennedy. “This is a collaboration that we’ve been talking about for several months and we’re excited to see it come to life this summer,” Kennedy added. “Our teams are working together on the production’s technical aspects, as well as marketing and communications, front of house operations, and ticketing. This also marks the return of welcoming audiences back into Bass Hall and we’re delighted to join forces with Jubilee Theatre to signify the official reopening of Bass Hall.”
“THE STAGE IS NO LONGER DARK!” said Howard. “A heartfelt thank you goes to Dione and her staff for seeing value in showcasing diverse perspectives through various mediums of artistic expression.”
Jubilee Theatre also gives special thanks to the Ann L. & Carol Green Rhodes Charitable Trust to serve as Headline Sponsor for Southern Boys’ North Texas appearance.
Preview Week for Southern Boys at Bass Hall runs from July 29-August 5. Opening Night is set for August 6, followed by two shows (3 pm and 8 pm) on August 7 and a Sunday matinee (3 pm) on August 8.
Additional performances will take place at Bass Hall from August 12-15 (two shows on August 14). Streaming will be available from August 16-29 at jubileetheatre.org.
Dominic Hunter plays Johnny, the one sharecropper with the audacity to maintain that one sliver of hope for total freedom still inside him. His friends, Titus and Malachi are played by Dameron Grove and Nigel Smith, respectively.
Ron Johnson plays Moe, while La Paige Bedford plays Delilah. The rest of the cast includes Davian Jackson as Otis, Kevin Davis, Jr. as Sam, Kris Black Jasper as Honey, and Sydney Hewitt as Sister.
D. Wambui Richardson, a native of New Orleans, has over 20 years of directing experience. He’s also the artistic director at Jubilee Theatre.
Independent music director and composer Steven A. Taylor masterfully provides vivid effects to the songs and sounds of Southern Boys.
Bass Performance Hall, owned and operated by Performing Arts Fort Worth, is located at 525 Commerce St. in the heart of Sundance Square in downtown Fort Worth.
Southern Boys: Sons of Sharecroppers will be the final production of Jubilee Theatre’s historic 40th season. Jubilee Theatre will soon announce the lineup for its 41st season, beginning in September.
Tickets are now on sale for Southern Boys: Sons of Sharecroppers. For ticket information, visit basshall.com or jubileetheatre.org.
Enhanced health and safety protocols will be in place at Bass Hall, including the requirement of masks/face coverings. To learn more, visit www.basshall.com/reopeningplans.