BWW Stage Mag THURGOOD - Celebration Arts Stage Mag

Celebration Arts Presents

 

THURGOOD

Friday, January 26, 2024
 

Directed by
James Wheatley

 
Written by
George Stevens, Jr.
Assistant Director
Sarina Krastev
Artistic Director
James Ellison III
 
 
Starring
 
James Ellison III
 
   
 
PERFORMANCE LENGTH: 1 hour, 45 minutes, no intermission.
 
 
Setting:
A lecture hall at Howard University, Thurgood Marshall's law school alma mater.
 
First performed at Westport Country Playhouse and subsequently on Broadway
THURGOOD is produced by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC
www.broadwayplaypublishing.com

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OUR MISSION

Celebration Arts is a multicultural and multiple-discipline organization whose purpose is to support the development and presentation of the performing arts, making art accessible to community residents through training and performance opportunities. 


YOUR THEATRE EXPERIENCE

COVID-19 SAFETY

Masks are recommended, not required.


MOBILE PHONES + DEVICES

Please turn your phones off as you enter the theatre, prior to the performance.


VIDEOS + PHOTOGRAPHY

Photography, video, and recording devices are prohibited during the performance.


LATE ARRIVALS

As a courtesy to our performers and seated patrons,, late arrivals will be seated in a suitable location by our ushers when it is least disruptive.


PARENTAL GUIDANCE

This play includes mature language and descriptions of racism. Use discretion with young children


ACCESSIBILITY

Wheelchair seating is available. For any other accommodations, please contact the theater in advance at 916.455.2787.

Cast

James Ellison III
Thurgood Marshall

Creative Team

James Wheatley

Director

Sarina Krastev

Assistant Director

George Stevens, Jr

Playwright

Production Team

Assistant Director
Sarina Krastev

Voice Recordings
Hunter Hoffman

Lighting Technicians
Denise Taylor
Cynthia Hamilton
Voress Franklin

Marketing
Elizabeth Baidoo

Photography
Jonathan Martinez

Meet the Company

James Ellison III

Thurgood Marshall
James Ellison III - Thurgood Marshall

Led by acclaimed actor James Ellison III (BROKE-OLOGY at B Street Theatre, BETWEEN RIVERSIDE AND CRAZY, SMART PEOPLE and SWEAT at Capital Stage, MURDER ON THE ORIENT EXPRESS at Sacramento Theatre Company) in the titular role of Thurgood Marshall, audiences will be transported through time in this one-person play, as they witness the milestones and challenges that shaped Marshall's legacy. Mentored by Mr. Wheatley since he was 18, Ellison is also the artistic director of Celebration Arts.

Ellison will make his directorial debut this season with our final 2023 production, A RAISIN IN THE SUN. He dedicates his work in the theatre to his sister Yawanda and cousin Byron, who both passed away in October 2021.

James Wheatley

Director
James Wheatley - Director

Founding the Celebration Dance Company in 1976, James Wheatley brought it under the umbrella of Celebration Arts in 1986. For many years, he directed the majority of the productions during our annual theater season. He is also a playwright and has notable achievements as an actor, singer and dancer, winning six Elly acting awards and an Elly for his original play, Petra.

Mr. Wheatley received a Lifetime Achievement award from the Sacramento Area Regional Theatre Alliance and the Sacramento Chapter of the Links, Inc.

Since its inception, Celebration Arts has been a cornerstone of cultural enrichment, dedicated to bringing the African-American experience to the forefront of Sacramento's performing arts scene. THURGOOD is another testament to the organization's commitment to excellence and celebrating African-American history and contributions.

Sarina Krastev

Assistant Director
Sarina Krastev - Assistant Director

Sarina knew she was born to perform at an early age. Knowing this, she was driven to study theater arts and earned a B.A. in Drama before moving out to California. Soon after, she began performing with theater groups in Los Angeles, demonstrating her talent in both acting and dancing. Around Sacramento, one of her favorite roles was Mrs. Muller in DOUBT, for which she earned an Elly nomination. Recently, you may have seen her as Leroy/Attorney General Knight in DIRECT FROM DEATH ROW THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS and as Kate in GOOD PEOPLE.

Sarina also acts in short and feature length films. Her most recent film project in which she was cast as lead, SAMANTHA AND THE FISHERMAN'S DREAM, is currently in post-production.

Sarina is thrilled to be the Assistant Director for this important play that takes us on a journey into the life of the prominent and highly regarded Thurgood Marshall. She has enjoyed watching James Ellison III transform into Justice Marshall all while absorbing the expertise of Mr. James Wheatley.

George Stevens, Jr

Playwright
George Stevens, Jr - Playwright

George Stevens, Jr. has achieved an extraordinary creative legacy over a career spanning more than 60 years. His play THURGOOD opened in 2008 at the Booth Theater on Broadway. THURGOOD has since been produced in theaters across America. Stevens is the founder of the American Film Institute and a writer, director and producer. Film and television productions include AFI Life Achievement Awards (1973-98), The Kennedy Center Honors (1978-2014), George Stevens: A Filmmaker’s Journey, The Murder of Mary Phagan (Jack Lemmon, Peter Gallagher), Separate But Equal (Sidney Poitier, Burt Lancaster), The Thin Red Line, Herblock: The Black and the White and The Obama Inaugural Concert. Stevens has written three books. His memoir, My Place in the Sun, Life in the Golden Age of Hollywood and Washington was released in 2022. Awards include 15 Emmys, 2 Peabody Awards, 8 Writers Guild Awards and an Honorary Oscar presented in 2012 for "extraordinary distinction in lifetime achievement."

Production Photos

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Production Photos

About Thurgood Marshall

Born on June 2, 1908, Thurgood Marshall may have been inspired to become a lawyer after pulling a prank in high school.

As punishment, his principal made Marshall read the U.S. Constitution, which outlines the rights all Americans should have. Fascinated, the young man memorized the document. Growing up in an era when Jim Crow laws still permeated much of the country, Marshall was aware of racial injustices in America and decided to do something about them -- using the courts. 

Marshall took over the NAACP Legal Defense and Education Fund and argued and won 29 of the 32 civil rights cases he argued before the Supreme Court, chipping away at Jim Crow laws in higher education, culminating in the landmark Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education. In 1954, school segregation in the United States was abolished.

In 1967, President Lyndon B. Johnson appointed him the first African-American justice to serve on the Supreme Court. He continued to fight for civil rights, using the law to protect all people. He passed on January 24, 1993.

More information about Thurgood Marshall can be found by watching this short video.

ABOUT CELEBRATION ARTS

Originally the Celebration Dance Company founded in 1976 by James Wheatley, Celebration Arts became a 501c3 organization in 1986. For more than 30 years, Celebration Arts continues to be a cornerstone of music, dance, and theater for the Sacramento region’s African American community bringing Black artists and stories to its stage at 2727 B Street. In addition, Celebration Arts provides educational programs to children through Kids’ Time and dance training for teens, adults, and seniors. More information can be found at celebrationarts.net.

James Wheatley
Founder

BOARD OF DIRECTORS 

Nicole Manker
President
Executive Director

Kelly McDole
Vice President

Voress Franklin
Board Member

James Ellison III
Artistic Director

Halifu Osumare, PhD
Board Member

Samuel Jenkins
Board Member 

Andre Ramey
Board Member 

Niyah Moore
Non-Board Member Officer
Secretary


Linda Goodrich, PhD
Emeritus Advisor 

Elaine Douglas
Emeritus Advisor 

Sponsors

Donate

Celebration Arts cannot exist without the generous support of our donors. As a volunteer-run organization for more than 36 years, all proceeds from ticket sales are applied towards operational costs to produce shows and keep our doors open. Unfortunately tickets sales do not come close to covering these expenses.

We are dependent on your generosity to continue bringing theatrical productions and educational opportunities to our community. Contributions of any amount make a significant impact to the livelihood of our theater from helping us pay our rent and upkeep of our facilities, to giving small stipends to our performers and helping us spread the word to attract patrons to the theater.

Thank you so much for your support!

Donate here:
celebrationarts.net/support

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