Presented by 

The Nashville Shakespeare Festival

in collaboration with

at

 

 

Directed by Chuck Smith

Original Music by Victor Wooten

 
 
 
 
Starring
 

Kamal Angelo Bolden*

Jarvis Bynum

Kyra Davis

Kenny Dozier

Clark Harris

Pierre Johnson

Gerold Oliver*

Elliott Winston Robinson

Brian Anthony Wilson*

 

A NOTE FROM THE EXECUTIVE ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF NASHVILLE SHAKESPEARE FESTIVAL


2020 was a tough year of isolation, uncertainty and reckoning. Through that time my faith in the value of Shakespeare to the 21st century American did not lessen, but the need for cultural inclusion and awareness in all we do intensified. For 33 years, the Nashville Shakespeare Festival has been committed to diversity and making sure the cast on stage reflected the audience attending, but now is the time for more equity and greater unity.

When my friend Kenny Dozier, a highly esteemed Black producer/director/actor, approached me after seeing The Tempest in 2019 and said, “I want to present an August Wilson play on your stage,” I said, “Yes.” A cultural alliance was formed and the despair of 2020 turned into hope for 2021 and the future. Kennie Playhouse Theatre had limited resources but has presented high quality theatre since 2006. Some of the best actors and directors have eagerly stepped up to work on KPT shows, just for the chance to do the plays Kenny chooses. Having internationally renowned creators like Chuck Smith and Victor Wooten involved as well as the stellar cast and crew of Jitney is an honor for the Festival and we are grateful to Kenny for assembling these magnificent artists.

I am over the moon about Jim Warren being here to direct 12th Night with original music by beloved local musician, Tom Mason. Nashville was one of Jim’s first stops after he left the American Shakespeare Center which he founded 30 years ago. Jim is one of the top authorities on Shakespeare’s original staging conditions and his way of presenting Shakespeare “with the lights on” has attracted actors from across the country to work with him. His collaborative spirit and generous heart combined with his unfathomable creativity make him an invaluable contributor to this community. Songwriter and musician Tom Mason brightens every venue he steps into.

The two master playwrights, August Wilson and William Shakespeare, cover a gamut of topical issues in these plays: incarceration, gentrification, support for Black businesses, gender identification, bullying, love, and reconciliation.

Our pre-show lectures and post-show conversations will build crucial bridges between traditionally separate communities and life-long friendships and memories will be made.

Live theatre is back. The Festival is happening. This partnership between the NSF and KPT is one of the most exciting collaborations I have seen in my 41 years of doing theater in Nashville.

I hope you love both productions and continue to support local art.
Onward!
Denice Hicks

A NOTE FROM THE PRODUCING ARTISTIC DIRECTOR OF
KENNIE PLAYHOUSE THEATRE


I remember coming to 2019 Summer Shakespeare Festival production of The Tempest. As I sat in the audience I was trying to figure out why I was feeling so good. The audience, surroundings, ambience, and production all felt good. Which made me feel so good. As the Artistic Director of Kennie Playhouse Theatre, I immediately wanted to make a Kennie Playhouse Theatre audience feel this good.


Flash forward to 2021: we are here in pursuit to make everyone involved feel good. Good theater magically transports its audience, often transporting them from wherever they are to a place they may not have been before, creating entertaining imaginary circumstances. So with Kennie Playhouse Theater we hope that our involvement with Nashville Shakespeare Festival will create these imaginary circumstances for its audience that makes them feel good.

Come support the Arts and experience the goodness of Theater!
Kenny Dozier

 

DIRECTOR'S NOTE

 

       Welcome to the world of August Wilson! For those who are not familiar with Mr. Wilson I would characterize him by saying what Dr. King did for the civil rights movement of the fifties and sixties, August Wilson has done for the black theater movement in our era. By writing a play depicting the African American experience for each decade of the twentieth century, including two Pulitzer Prize winners, Fences and Piano Lesson, he can be compared with the great writers of all time. These plays were not written in sequence and all take place in Wilson’s hometown of Pittsburgh, except for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, which takes place in my hometown Chicago. He wrote the “bookends” last; Wilson’s Twentieth Century Cycle begins with Gem of the Ocean, his 1900’s play, and ends with Radio Golf, which takes place in the 1990’s. After he finished writing Radio Golf in 2005, he died at the age of sixty. Each of the cycle’s ten plays stands completely on its own, and the very first play that he wrote in the early eighties, Jitney, is the one you are about to experience.

 

Chuck Smith

Jitney Director

 

 

 

Follow Us:

 

 

Cast

Kamal Angelo Bolden *
Booster
Jarvis Bynum
Philmore
Kyra Davis
Rena
Kenny Dozier
Turnbo
Clark Harris
Doub / Becker-Franklin Cast
Pierre Johnson
Fielding
Ethan H. Jones
Shealy- Franklin cast
Gerold Oliver *
Youngblood
Rashad Rayford
Booster-Franklin Cast
Brian Anthony Wilson *
Becker
Elliott Winston Robinson
Shealy/Doub - Franklin cast

Creative Team

Chuck Smith

Director

Persephone Felder Fentress*

Stage Manager

Janet Berka

Lighting Designer

Patricia "Pixie" Convertino

Prop Master

Scott Baker

ASL Interpreter

Tracy Bidochka-Deakin

Wardrobe Assistant

Sarah Bolek

House Manager

Carrie Brewer

NSF Marketing Director

Katie Bruno

NSF Education Administrator

Lucy Calaway

NSF Marketing Intern

Brooke Leigh Davis

Assistant House Manager

William Finley

Sound Assistant

Kiare Green

Production Assistant

Victoria Griffin

Stage Manager's Apprentice

Taryana Hatley

Light Board Operator

Denice Hicks

NSF Executive Artistic Director

Sarah Katherine Kessen

Box Office Manager

Shane Lowery

Set Designer

JR Knowles

Run Crew

Robert Marigza-Yeo

NSF Managing Director

McKenna Mimms

Assistant Stage Manager

DJ Ranta

Site Technical Director/ Master Electrician

Anita Reed

Volunteer Coordinator

Keenya Riley

Production Assistant

Hazel Robinson

Costume Designer

Mary Sack

Concert Director

David Wilkerson

Fight Choreographer

Victor Wooten

Composer

Vance Buchanan

Sound Engineer

Meet the Company

Kamal Angelo Bolden *

Booster

A native of Peoria, IL, Kamal graduated from Bradley University with a degree in Business Administration-Entrepreneurship. Theatre: the lead role of ‘Hero’ in Father Comes Home From The Wars Parts 1,2, & 3 (Goodman Theatre), Immediate Family directed by Phylicia Rashad (Mark Taper Forum), the title role of ‘Chad Deity’ in the world premiere of The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Deity (Victory Gardens), Jitney, The Misanthrope, Home (Court Theatre), Detroit ‘67 (Northlight Theatre), Coriolanus (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), SS: Romeo & Juliet (Chicago Shakespeare), Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Charlotte’s Web, Most Valuable Player (Nashville Children’s Theatre). Off-Broadway: AUDELCO Award for Best Actor in Reparations at the historic Billie Holiday Theatre and a nomination for The Opponent at 59E59St Theatre. Television: Chicago Fire, Insecure, The Resident, Law & Order SVU, Rosewood, NCIS, Major Crimes, Betrayal, Low Winter Sun, Boss, Lights Out. Film: The Night Before, Ravers, Keys to the City, Elvis & Nixon. Upcoming: Vacation Friends (Hulu), 61st Street (AMC), Ride Share (Writers Theatre). Education: British American Drama Academy.

Jarvis Bynum

Philmore


Jarvis is a local actor, improvisor, producer, and a graduate of Austin Peay State University. He’s a cast member of Nashville Improv and co-owner of Jam Jar Films. He’s done numerous theatre shows and commercials in and around Nashville over the past six years. He’s super excited to be working with such a talented group of people those familiar as well as new! Jarvis is delighted to be bringing this classic by Mr Wilson to the stage!

 

Kyra Davis

Rena

Kyra Davis (Rena) grew up in a small town called Tuscumbia, AL. She decided to make theatre her primary major after she closed Ragtime her sophomore year in high school. The exhilarating feeling, the impact of the story and relationships she built with her castmates was something she could never forget. During her time at the University of Alabama, she received The Marian Gallaway Award which is awarded to an outstanding senior who has shown great dedication and passion for the craft of acting. She spent her time throughout undergrad creating and performing theatrical pieces while advocating for the black community. She wants to spread love, peace, and the beauty of blackness with her art. Theatre Credits: Intimate Apparel (Eshter) and The Christians (Elizabeth).  

Kenny Dozier

Turnbo

Kenny Dozier (Turnbo) is the Artistic Director of Kennie Playhouse Theatre and Producer at Nashville Shakespeare Festival. He is a Producer, Director, and Actor. He graduated from Florida A&M University in Chemical Engineering. Kenny’s name was mentioned twice in the Wall Street Journal (2016 & 2017) for an “impressive” performance as “Cutler” in August Wilson’s award winning play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” and “ Piano Lesson”. In 2004, his portrayal of ”Hedley” in August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars” earned him the Best Supporting Actor award from the Nashville Tennessean. He also was nominated for Director of the Year for the play “Amazing Grace”. In 2019 he worked in collaboration with Metro Housing Department on teaching Fine Arts with emphasis on set design with youth from the Preston Taylor Public Housing Community. The project
received the “2019 Richie Resident Leadership Award” for having the best public housing community Involvement & Resident Participation. For the past 14 years KPT has produced over 20 play productions and readings under Kenny’s Leadership.

Clark Harris

Doub / Becker-Franklin Cast


Clark Harris has performed in numerous stage plays including an Off-Broadway production of Romeo & Juliet with The Classical Theater of Harlem.  For the past few years, he has been filming and working in television and in films.  Television credits include the following networks:  Netflix, Oxygen, Lifetime, Hallmark and FX Networks to name a few.  For more info, visit www.clarkaharris.com  

 

Pierre Johnson

Fielding


Pierre Johnson returns to KPT where it is a pleasure to again experience August Wilson’s Century Cycle of plays. He previously appeared in Wilson’s Jitney, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Seven Guitars. His other Nashville theatre credits include Robert Johnson: Trick The Devil, Song of Jacob Zulu, Love, Life, & Fight, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Holy Ghost, Spoon River In Revival. Pierre is a graduate of Middle Tennessee State University, Nashville Auction School and trained in acting at Actors Bridge Ensemble (Nashville) and is an Actors Bridge Board Member. He is a Tampa FL resident.

 

 

Ethan H. Jones

Shealy- Franklin cast


Ethan H. Jones is making his debut with Kennie Playhouse Theatre. A prolific actor strongly influenced by the teachings of Stanislavsky, he is originally from St. Louis, Missouri. His repertoire includes: Polonius in Hamlet (Nashville Shakespeare Festival), Wining Boy in The Piano Lesson (St. Louis Black Repertory Company), King of France in Henry V (St. Louis Shakespeare), Henry Brown in Race (Murfreesboro Little Theatre), Don Pedro in Much Ado About Nothing (Riverside Shakespeare Company), Troy Maxson in Fences (Centerstage Theatre), and many, many others. He has also appeared in many commercials and independent films, and has directed in theatre.

Gerold Oliver *

Youngblood

 

Gerold Oliver is a Nashville native who has been performing for 7 years. This is his second performance with Nashville Shakespeare Festival. He is very grateful and blessed to be a part of a show with a talented cast.

Rashad Rayford

Booster-Franklin Cast


Rashad Rayford has appeared in over 40 plays, including Suzi Lori Parks' Nashville premiere of TopDog/UnderDog, Catori Hall's Broadway hit "The Mountaintop", and Nashville Children's Theatre, "Rosa Parks and..." are standout favorites. He has worked with The Destiny Theatre Experience, Sista Style Productions, Nashville Rep, Circle Players, and Kennie's Playhouse to name a few. Rashad is an award winning poet, emcee, and speaker. His company Elevate Your Vibe, LLC helps businesses tell more concise stories. He thanks his beautiful wife Aysha and their wonderful children for their support. Go to Rashadthapoet.com for more info.

 

Brian Anthony Wilson *

Becker

 

Brian Anthony Wilson is thrilled to be reprising the role of Jim Becker after doing a touring Co-Production of "Jitney" back in 2006 with the late Chuck Patterson @ KC Rep & Arizona Theatre Company. Recent Theatre : King Lear, opposite Andre DeShields @ The St. Louis Shakespeare Festival, in MO.,"Looking Over The President's Shoulder" (one man show @ Act II Playhouse in PA). Solly Two Kings in "Gem Of The Ocean" @ The Arden Theatre in Philly (Barrymore Award for 'Outstanding Supporting Performance in a Play'), "Thurgood" (one man show @ Olney Theatre Center, MD) & Troy in "Fences" (J.A.G. Productions, VT). Film/TV selected credits : Oceans 8, Room 9, Glass, Creed, Limitless, The Arrangement, The Postman / Servant (Apple + TV), Wu-Tang : An American Saga (Recurring-Hulu), Mare of Easttown (HBO), FBI: Most Wanted (CBS), Dispatches From Elsewhere (Recurring-AMC), Siren (Recurring-FreeForm), Bloodline (Netflix), The Sopranos & The Wire (Recurring-HBO). For my Family.

 

Elliott Winston Robinson

Shealy/Doub - Franklin cast

 

I am tremendously excited for my debut with Nashville Shakes. This is my fifth performance in the August Wilson Pittsburgh Cycle, following Gem of the Ocean (Solly); The Piano Lesson (Wining Boy, and more recently, Doaker); FENCES (Troy); and a staged reading of Two Trains Running (Memphis). Other favorite dramatic roles include Master Harold and the Boys (Sam), and Driving Miss Daisy (Hoke). Special thanks to my Jessica for love, encouragement and support, and to all those who have had to put up with caged artists during the pandemic. I hope you enjoy our presentation this evening; God Bless!
 

Chuck Smith

Director

 

Chuck hails from Chicago where he is Resident Director at the Goodman Theatre and is also a resident director at the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe in Sarasota, Florida. His career has spanned nearly four decades directing plays at the Hunting Theatre Company, Chicago’s Victory Gardens, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Fisk University, and many many more. He is a 2003 inductee into the Chicago State University Gwendolyn Brooks Center’s Literary Hall of Fame and a 2001 Chicago Tribune Chicagoan of the Year. He is the proud recipient of the 1982 Paul Robeson Award and the 1997 Award of Merit presented by the Black Theater Alliance of Chicago.

Persephone Felder Fentress*

Stage Manager

Ms. Felder-Fentress is an Associate Professor in the area of Humanities and Drama at Fisk University where she teaches courses in Public Speaking, Humanities, and Theatre. She directs the Fisk University Stagecrafters’ and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Academic Magnet High School’s Royal Thespians annual stage productions. She also currently serves as the Fisk University Beth Madison Howse Mini–College Director, which is a summer enrichment camp for children ages 5-12. Persephone is also a professional actress, singer, and director. She is married and has two sons, who give her life meaning and purpose.

Janet Berka

Lighting Designer


Design credits include: The Tempest and Pericles, Nashville Shakespeare Festival (2019); Svetlyachki, NYC Fringe Festival; A Piece of My Heart, IVP at the Museum of American Armor; Utah, Wyoming Theatre Festival; Radio Golf, African American Repertory Theatre, Dallas; Uncle Vanya, Dallas Actor's Lab. Assistant Lighting Design credits: Moonshine: That Hee Haw Musical; Les Misérables; FLY (all Dallas Theater Center). Television: Lighting Director, CNN New York. MFA Southern Methodist University; BFA Penn State University. Web: jberka.com

 

Patricia "Pixie" Convertino

Prop Master

 

Patricia ”Pixie” Convertino is excited to be working as Prop Master with Nashville Shakespeare Festival for a second summer. Pixie graduated with a Bachelors in Theatre from Rhode Island College and went on to work on a national tour as prop manager for 2 years. Recently, she has been working as a performer and technician at local Community theatres, Consider This and Brava Boro and has restarted the Drama Club at Smyrna Middle School where she will be directing Willy Wonka Jr. this fall.  Pixie is grateful to her family and friends for their encouragement and support in all her theatrical adventures.  

Scott Baker

ASL Interpreter

Tracy Bidochka-Deakin

Wardrobe Assistant

Sarah Bolek

House Manager

Sarah is delighted to be back for Summer Shakespeare at oneC1TY. She Assistant House Managed for the previous two Summer Shakespeares and designed props for their 2019 winter production of Julius Caesar. Born and raised in the Middle Tennessee area, Sarah has a BS in Theater from Middle Tennessee State University and currently works freelance in Nashville.

Carrie Brewer

NSF Marketing Director

Katie Bruno

NSF Education Administrator

Katie is thrilled to coordinate all classes, camps, and workshops for learners of all ages. She recently studied with Shawnda Moss at the Utah Shakespeare Festival and is eager to share new teaching techniques with teachers and students in the greater Nashville area.

Lucy Calaway

NSF Marketing Intern

Lucy is a rising sophomore at Vanderbilt University studying Vocal Performance and European Studies. She performed in numerous community theatre shows, with some highlights including Mary Poppins, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Seussical and Oliver!. Earlier in the summer, Lucy was a member of the Druid City Opera Workshop, and has also participated in other classical voice programs such as the Boston University Tanglewood Institute and the Interlochen Vocal Artist Program. Lucy graduated from the high school program at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in 2020 with a concentration in music. She hopes to pursue a career in classical voice and arts administration after college.

Brooke Leigh Davis

Assistant House Manager

William Finley

Sound Assistant

Kiare Green

Production Assistant

Victoria Griffin

Stage Manager's Apprentice

Taryana Hatley

Light Board Operator

 

Taryana Hatley is a recent graduate of the illustrious Fisk University, where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Biology. She now pursues her dream of research to eventually obtain her PhD in nutrition. In her free time, she enjoys longboarding and adventuring with friends. Taryana has a passion for helping others and believes small changes in the right direction results in long lasting success.

Denice Hicks

NSF Executive Artistic Director

Denice has been working for The Nashville Shakespeare Festival since 1990 as an actor, director, teaching artist, and administrator. Educated at Point Park University in Pittsburgh, she moved to Nashville in 1980 to perform at Opryland. Denice started directing in 1992, while enjoying a successful career as a stage, film, television and voice over actor. From Shakespeare to Dollywood, she approaches every production as a new work, where creativity, collaboration and audience connection prevail. An Ingram Fellowship award winner, she has developed and facilitated workshops for students of all ages and designed and implemented the NSF Apprentice Company Training and Shakespeare Allowed programming. She has been a guest lecturer at several universities, and served as a Teaching Artist for the Folger Shakespeare Library Institute, and the Cooperative Center for Study Abroad program for three weeks in Stratford-Upon-Avon and London. She was honored by the Nashville Scene as one of the “Twenty- five Nashvillians who’ve shaped the city for the better since 1989”.

Sarah Katherine Kessen

Box Office Manager

Shane Lowery

Set Designer

 

Shane Lowery lives in Franklin, TN, works as Hydrologic Data Technician for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and has worked on more than 100 sets in Middle Tennessee over the last Twenty years.  Owner/operator of Constructis Set Design, Shane has recently designed and built sets for "Too Heavy for Your Pocket", "The Colored Museum", and "Breathe" at Fisk University.  Shane has been attending the Nashville Shakespeare Festival since he was a teenager and is honored to be a part of their production.

JR Knowles

Run Crew

Robert Marigza-Yeo

NSF Managing Director

Robert first became involved with NSF as an actor in the 1994 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Over these 27 years, he has served The Festival as an actor, stage manager, designer, technical director, crew, teacher, and IT person. From 2005 to 2018, he was the full-time Operations Manager of the company and Producer of Antony & Cleopatra, The Winter’s Tale, Macbeth, The Merry Wives of Windsor, The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Hamlet, Coriolanus, Richard III, Shakespeare’s Case, Complete Works, The Taming of the Shrew, The Tempest, Pericles, Love’s Labor’s Lost, Romeo & Juliet, Julius Caesar, Much Ado about Nothing, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, As You Like It, Twelfth Night, Henry V, King Lear, and The Comedy of Errors. As an actor, Robert has also worked with Nashville Children’s Theatre, People’s Branch Theatre, Mockingbird Theatre, Nashville Repertory Theatre, Green Room Projects, and Actors’ Bridge Ensemble, as well as in commercials and independent films. He holds a BS in Mathematics from Mary Washington University. Robert sends his love and thanks to his wife Jayme and son William.

McKenna Mimms

Assistant Stage Manager

 

McKenna Mimms is a Junior Political Science and Criminal Justice major at Fisk University from Nashville, TN. This is her 10th theater production and 4th stage management position. She has career aspirations to be a strong community activist for dismantling the school-to-prison pipeline.

DJ Ranta

Site Technical Director/ Master Electrician

has been working with The Nashville Shakespeare Festival since 1992, and this marks his 21st year on the production staff. D.J. is the Theatre Manager/Technical Director for Harpeth Hall School. He has also been Technical Director for Circle Players, ACT I, and others, as well as lighting designer for numerous productions. He is a past board member of ACT I as well as Circle Players, where he is currently the company TD. Recent credits include light design for Les Miserables and Master Class, TD for Titanic the Musical, and set design for To Kill A Mockingbird. The top 3 memorable productions that D.J. has worked on are A Chorus Line, Pippen, and Masterpieces. D.J. would like to thank his wife Laurie and daughter Vonnie for putting up with all the long hours and even helping into the wee hours of the morning on many an occasion.

Anita Reed

Volunteer Coordinator

Keenya Riley

Production Assistant

Hazel Robinson

Costume Designer

Mary Sack

Concert Director

Mary Sack is delighted to join the NSF as the Pre-Show Entertainment Coordinator in 2021, having participated in 2014 and 2016 in an ancillary role in support of then Music Director/Actor/Singer-Songwriter/Musician David Olney. She currently represents recording artists and published authors in all aspects of their career. Ms. Sack has extensive press, radio, internet and marketing promotions experience having worked for several record labels (Columbia Records,  Capricorn Records, Relentless/Nashville,  Rising Tide, Naxos Jazz, Pat Boone’s The Gold Label) and retail outlets (Blockbuster Music, Wherehouse Music, Waxie Maxie’s, Olsson’s, Turtle’s and more) before starting her own Mary Sack Management company in 2002. She earned a B.S. from Towson University with a degree in Mass Communications/English specializing in Public Relations and World Literature. 

David Wilkerson

Fight Choreographer

David has over 100 professional credits as a stage manager, fight director, actor, and director. He is a full-time lecturer at Middle Tennessee State University. He recently directed the NSF’s Winter Shakespeare 2020 production of Macbeth.

Victor Wooten

Composer

Victor Wooten is a five-time Grammy winner who hit the worldwide scene in 1990 as a founding member of the super-group Bela Fleck and the Flecktones. Continuing to blaze a musical trail with the band, Victor has also become widely known for his own Grammy nominated solo recordings and tours. Among other things, he is a loving husband and father of four, a skilled naturalist and teacher, a published author, a magician and acrobat, and has won every major award given to a bass guitarist including being voted Bassist of the Year in Bass Player Magazine’s readers poll three times (the only person to win it more than once.) In 2011, Rolling Stone Magazine voted Victor one of the Top Ten Bassist of ALL TIME.  www.victorwooten.com

Vance Buchanan

Sound Engineer

Multimedia

*member AEA

 

August Wilson’s Jitney is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com 

 

The videotaping or making of electronic or other audio and or visual recordings of this production and distributing recordings or streams in any medium, including the Internet, is strictly prohibited, a violation of the author’s rights and actionable under United States copyright law. For more information, please visit:  www.concordtheatricals.com/resources/protecting-artists

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