Jackie and Me, Steven Dietz's Adaptation of Jackie Robinson Time-Travel Story, Premieres in Chicago

News   Jackie and Me, Steven Dietz's Adaptation of Jackie Robinson Time-Travel Story, Premieres in Chicago The story of Jackie Robinson, the groundbreaking baseball player who was the first African-American to play for the major leagues, gets told with a time-traveling element in Jackie and Me, a new play adapted by playwright Steven Dietz from Dan Gutman's children's novel.

Kamal Angelo Bolden and Tyler Ross (background)
Kamal Angelo Bolden and Tyler Ross (background) Photo by Michael Brosilow

The Chicago Children's Theatre production premieres at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts Feb. 8. An official opening is set for Feb. 11, with the production scheduled to run through March 27.

Derrick Sanders directs a cast featuring Kamal Angelo Bolden Victory Gardens/Teatro Vista's The Elaborate Entrance of Chad Diety) as Jackie Robinson and Tyler Ross as Joey Stoshack, the contemporary young boy who travels back in time to meet the subject of his school report. Tracey Bohner (Rachel), Patrick De Nicola (Ant), Ron Rains (Dad), Vanessa Greenway (Mom), Sean Cooper (Flip) and Charles Stransky (Branch Rickey) complete the ensemble.

The design team includes Ian Zywica (set), Christine Pascual (costumes), Seth Reinick (lights), Michael Griggs (sound) and Kimberly Morris (props).

According to CCT notes, "Joey Stoshack is a headstrong young boy with a special talent for time travel. When Joey is assigned to write a report on an African American who has made an important contribution to society, he uses his special ability to go back to New York City in the year 1947 to meet one of history’s greatest baseball players, Jackie Robinson. Joey plans on writing a prize-winning report, but he doesn’t plan on a trip that will forever change his view of history and his definition of courage."

Dietz's plays include Fiction, Still Life with Iris, Inventing Van Gogh, God’s Country, Private Eyes, The Nina Variations, Trust, Rocket Man, Halcyon Days, Ten November, and More Fun Than Bowling. Adaptations include Honus and Me (from Gutman's book), Sherlock Holmes: The Final Adventure (from William Gilette and Arthur Conan Doyle), Silence (from Shusaku Endo), Force of Nature (from Goethe), Over the Moon (from P.G. Wodehouse), The Rememberer (from Joyce Simmons Cheeka), Paragon Springs (from Ibsen), Dracula (from Bram Stoker) and, with Allison Gregory, Go, Dog, Go! (from P.D. Eastman). The show is recommended for children ages eight and older.

The Ruth Page Center for the Arts is located at 1016 North Dearborn Street in Chicago. For tickets, call (866) 811-4111 or visit chicagochildrenstheatre.org.

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