Saturday, August 8, 2020
Award-winning CSU Dominguez Hills Black Theatre Program Opens Jitney
By Sentinel News Service
Published October 22, 2009

Award-winning CSU Dominguez Hills Black Theatre Program Opens Jitney


(Carson, CA) – The California State University, Dominguez Hills Department of Theatre and Dance is celebrating the 10-year anniversary of its nationally recognized Black Theatre Program with an alumni-based production of August Wilson’s Jitney under the direction of Donis Leonard, associate professor of theatre arts. The play runs October 16, 17, 23, 24 at 8 p.m. and October 18 and 25 at 2 p.m. at the University Theatre.

Take a funky 70’s ride through the scene set in a ramshackle taxi depot in the Hill District of Pittsburgh. Here, the middle-aged men who drive unlicensed gypsy cabs, or “jitneys,” strive to find honor and accomplishment amidst a landscape of diminishing opportunity. The station owner, Booster, struggles with the prospect of being closed down by the city along with the return of his estranged son who has spent 20 years in prison, which unleashes two decades of brutal, raw emotion.

August Wilson stands among other great African-American artists who hail from Pittsburgh’s Hill District, such as Lena Horne, Billy Eckstine, Erroll Garner, and Art Blakely.

“Wilson is the greatest black playwright in American history,” says Leonard, who has cast eight CSUDH theatre alumni out of the nine cast members for this production of Jitney.

“I brought back alums for Jitney to showcase their talent and to celebrate the 10-year anniversary of the Black Theatre Program here at CSUDH,” says Leonard.

Alumni Jitney cast members are Shonni Albritton (Rena), Phil Bray (Doub), Myron Campbell (Fielding), Vince Conard (Turnbo), Rahmon Ford (Shealy), Darryl Mckellar (Booster), and Robin White (Philmore). Senior theatre major, Skylar Brown, plays Youngblood and guest artist, Greg Thompson, plays Becker.

During the 2009 National Black Theatre Festival, the CSUDH Department of Theatre Arts Black Theatre Program was awarded the Outstanding Achievement Award, recognizing it as one of the nation’s premiere collegiate theatre arts programs.

For more information about the CSUDH Black Theatre Program and Jitney, e-mail or call 310.243.2847.

For ticket information please call the Box Office at 310.243.3589. Tickets are available at the door. General admission tickets are $12 and $10 for students with CSUDH I.D.

The University Theatre complex on the campus of CSU Dominguez Hills is located on Toro Center Drive/Tamcliff Street off Victoria Street in the city of Carson. Metered parking lots are within walking distance. Permits are $4 and can be purchased at yellow kiosk machines near each lot.

Categories: Theater

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