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Live Theatre is Storytelling with Flair
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years by Emily Mann opens as 103-year-old Sadie and 101-year-old Bessie Delany welcome us into their home in Mount Vernon, New York. We, the audience, are guests in their home as the sisters prepare dinner in remembrance of their father's birthday. As they bake a ham, stuff a chicken for roasting, and make ambrosia and pound cake, they recount a fascinating series of events and anecdotes drawn from their rich family history and their careers as pioneering African American professional women. They lived during the turbulent times for descendants of slaves that occurred just after the Civil War, and they continue into the present, doing daily yoga exercises and watching the MacNeil/Lehrer NewsHour each evening.
We should all draw broadly from this play. This simple story about the struggles of two women typifies the essential human condition - of struggle and achievement, universal in its appeal and in the messages it sends.
Clearly, Having Our Say is our history. It celebrates women and men, African Americans, our country, and the indomitable human spirit.
Runs June 14 - June 29
Gee’s Bend by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder is the story of the Pettway women, quilters from the isolated community of Gee’s Bend, Alabama. Beginning in 1939, the play follows Alice, her daughters Sadie and Nella, and Sadie’s husband, Macon, through segregation, family strife and the Civil Rights movement. Throughout their lives, the women’s extraordinary quilts provide a respite from the turmoil around them. In the last act of the play, it is the year 2000; the quilts have been “discovered” as folk art and have become very valuable. Sadie is pleased with the recognition, but she returns to Gee’s Bend and continues to quilt. Wilder’s play explores the resilience of the human spirit, especially as it is expressed in art.
Runs July 12 - 27
Why Not Me? A Sammy Davis Jr. Story by Tim Rhoze. This play reveals the man underneath the artist who is known as the Greatest Entertainer of his and perhaps any time in American history. The night of his horrific car accident that caused him to lose an eye, Sammy, his father and Will Mastin (The Will Mastin Trio featuring Sammy Davis Jr.) had performed at the Frontier Hotel in Las Vegas. Without knowing it, that night would change Sammy’s world on many levels. Of course Sammy can’t help but to entertain us with some of his signature tap dancing and singing a musical lyric or two as he retells that fateful night.
Runs August 9 - 24
Jazz Meets Blues Concert Featuring Marlene Rosenberg & Chainsaw Dupont
Gospel Concert Celebrating the Men of Gospel Music
Punch cards for the 2014 season will go on sale November 1 for $40. The BackStage voucher buys 5 tickets to any performance during our 2014 season, saving you up to $26! (you may use each ticket separately at different performances.)
Summertime Season Auditions
General auditions for the 2014 Summertime Season will be held between noon and 2:00 p.m. on Saturday, December 14, 2013. To schedule an audition appointment, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Box Office Information
Advance tickets must be purchased Monday through Friday at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., Evanston, during box office business hours. Just stop by the Theatre (northeast side of the building).
"A trip to Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre in the Noyes Cultural Arts Center is an exhilarating experience that comes with outrageously high value but the low price of $12 a seat. Steppenwolf, Northlight, and Victory Gardens theaters may be more famous performance venues, but it would be hard to imagine that they would provide more compelling entertainment than what is available at Fleetwood-Jourdain..." Read More
All main stage performances take place at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St., at 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays or 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. The 2013 season includes four main stage performances, a dramatic reading series and two concerts in late August!
NEW! A limited number of Premium Season Discount Cards are available at the Noyes Center box office. Each $40 card is valid for four plays and two concerts in 2013, which is a $38 savings over full-price tickets.
Earlier this summer...
Painting, top, by Michael Montenegro. Slideshow photos by Basil Clunie.
Jazz Meets Blues Summertime Set
Friday, August 30, 7:00 p.m.
Marlene Rosenberg and Chainsaw Dupont will rock the stage with Jazz for the spirit and Blues for the soul!
Gospel Celebration Concert/The Women of Gospel Music
Saturday, August 31, 7:00 p.m.
Rev. Kenneth Cherry will conduct Evanston’s most talented gospel singers and musicians. Buy tickets now. Last year, the concert sold out!
Summertime Saturday Dramatic Reading Series
The 2013 Dramatic Reading Series' theme is "Celebrating the Funny; African American Comedy." Dramatists Guild Award-winner "The Colored Museum" by George C. Wolfe will be presented on Saturdays at 3:00 p.m. at the Evanston Public Library, 1703 Orrington Ave. on June 1, July 13 and August 3. The play features 11 vignettes that satirize elements of African American culture. The readings are co-sponsored by the Evanston Public Library. Admission is free as part of the Mayor's Summer Recreation Program.
Big Butt Girls and Other Fantasies — The Remix! by Marsha Estell
August 10-25, Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 3pm
Trapped by varicose veins and hot flashes, Marty desperately longs for the happier yesteryears. Playwright Marsha Estell (HEAT) is brilliantly funny and bittersweet in this solo performance.
Going to St. Ives
by Lee Blessing
July 20-August 4, Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 3pm
Two impressive women, one a European eye surgeon and the other a mother of an African Dictator, are brought together by that which is personal and divided by that which is political.
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow Is Enuf
by Notzake Shange
June 8-23, Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 3pm
A "choreopoem," series of 20 poems accompanied by live original music, which expresses the many struggles and obstacles that women of color face throughout their lives.
Woza Albert! by Percy Mtwa, Mbongeni Ngema and Barney Simon
June 29-July 14, Saturdays at 7pm and Sundays at 3pm
Black South Africans, during the time of apartheid, seek the return of the savior, Morena, who fulfills the biblical prophecy that Jesus Christ will return – this time to South Africa!
Founded in 1979, under the name of the Foster Community Theatre, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre has been thrilling audiences with over three decades of unique, inspirational and invigorating African American and African Diaspora-centered storytelling. From original plays to the best of Broadway, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre remained committed to supplying the very best in theatre.
"Umoja!! ….Working Together in Unity" is the foundation from which FJT began and continues to thrive!
It is our mission to present powerful, thought provoking, community-centered Theater Arts programming with a commitment to diversity and creative excellence. We are dedicated to providing a nurturing and creative environment for directors, playwrights, set, light, and costume designers, as well as for experienced and novice performers. In this positive environment they can develop their skills and fully express their talents.
In August 2007, Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre was nominated for five Black Theatre Alliance Awards for its summer production of Sarafina! The Music of Liberation!
For more information, please call 847-448-8260 or 847-448-8254 and ask for the Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre.
Would you like to help with one of our productions?
Would you like to help us host an event, or usher a show?
Please call (847) 448-8260 for details.
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