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Live Theatre is Storytelling with Flair
August Wilson Celebration
The Fleetwood-Jourdain Theatre and Evanston Public Library are collaborating with the Goodman Theatre for a stage reading of August Wilson’s "The Piano Lesson" as a part of the stage reading series to honor the legacy of Wilson, a two-time Pulitzer Prize recipient for playwriting.
This event will be held on Saturday, April 4 at 2 p.m. at the Evanston Public Library (1703 Orrington Ave.) Admission is free, but seats are limited. Ticket information will be available soon.
The 2015 season will include three main stage performances and two concerts in late August. All performances take place at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center, 927 Noyes St.
Main stage performances are held at 7:00 p.m. on Saturdays or 3:00 p.m. on Sundays. Tickets are $12 in advance and $17 on the day of the performance. Seniors and students, $10.
New Online Ticket Purchase Option
Theatre-goers now can conveniently purchase tickets online at the links that will be supplied for each performance. Online ticket sales will begin April 1, 2015. A $1 fee per ticket applies for tickets purchased online.
Box Office Information
Advance tickets are available for purchase at the Morton Civic Center, Room 1100, 2100 Ridge Ave., Evanston, weekdays from 10am-4pm. Tickets also may be purchased in the FJT lobby at the Noyes Cultural Arts Center starting one hour before show time. Questions? Call or text 847-448-4311.
Buy your Premium Discount Card and pay just $50 for a five-punch card. Note: Card is not valid for Black Tie Gala and is valid for one punch per concert. Cards will be mailed to the address provided on the form.
Here's our 2015 Summertime Season line-up!
Back by overwhelming demand is the return of... "Why Not Me? A Sammy Davis Jr. Story." Next is the Obie Award-winning play, "The Vagina Monologues" and the final main stage play is the world premiere of "Maya's Last Poem." The season concludes with a long weekend featuring the popular "Jazz Meets Blues Concert," a new Old School R&B Concert, and a gala black tie event, "The Voices of Black Opera." See below for dates.
Why Not Me? A Sammy Davis Jr. Story by Tim Rhoze. This HIT production, played in front of sold out houses last season, and now it returns to FJT by popular demand! The story reveals the man inside the entertainer who became known as “Mr. Wonderful” the Greatest Entertainer of his time. June 13 – 28
The Vagina Monologues by Eve Ensler. The Vagina Monologues is a series of incredible soliloquies each dealing with the feminine experience. This moving play is told both comically and poignantly by three racially and culturally diverse women.
July 11 – 26
Maya’s Last Poem by Tim Rhoze. This play takes a leap and asks the question…now that Maya Angelou is in heaven, what conversations is she having with God? And as she seeks to write again from God’s library, how will this glorious, entertaining conversation influence the words she chooses. August 8 – 23
Old School R&B Concert: Thursday, August 27
Jazz Meets Delta Blues Concert: Friday, August 28
FJT Black Tie Gala: The Voices of Black Opera
Saturday, August 29 at 6 p.m. Tickets are $50.
2014 Season Main Stage Plays
Why Not Me? A Sammy Davis Jr. Story
by Tim Rhoze
Ran August 9 - 24, 2014
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.
Photo by Basil Clunie
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years
by Emily Mann
Ran June 14 - July 6, 2014
Having Our Say: The Delany Sisters’ First 100 Years 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.
by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder
Ran July 12 - 27, 2014
Gee’s Bend 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.
The play's opening night was performed during the 35th Anniversary Gala Celebration on Saturday, July 12.
What's Being Said. . .
"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
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 311 (847-448-4311 outside Evanston).