JITNEY

Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

The final by two-time Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s masterful “The American Century Cycle,and received the 2017 Tony for Best Revival.  One of the longest-running Off Broadway plays in history, Jitney had never been seen on Broadway until 2017. Now this acclaimed production, by the multiple award-winning Ruben Santiago-Hudson, is alive again and hitting the road on tour in the 2018-2019 season.  Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a fascinating group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs known as jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last. 

PRODUCTION HISTORY

Jitney was produced on Broadway at Manhattan Theater Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theater in 2017, in association with producers Eric Falkenstein, Ron Simons, John Legend/Mike Jackson, and Ken Wirth.

The cast (pictured above) featured Ray Anthony Thomas, Michael Potts, John Douglas Thompson, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Brandon J. Dirden, Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, and Keith Randolph Smith.  Photos by: Joan Marcus © 2017

About the CREATIVE TEAM

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Director) Tony and Obie Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson recently directed the world premiers of Dominique Morriseau's Skeleton Crew at the Atlantic Theater and Paradise Blue at the Williamstown Theatre Festival.  Mr. Santiago-Hudson won a Tony when he starred in August Wilson's Seven Guitars on Broadway and later went on to direct the play himself to high praise.  Other directing credits include The Piano lesson, The First Breeze of Summer, Cabin in the Sky and many more.  The multi award-winning director and actor wrote, executive produced and starred in the HBO film "Lackawanna Blues," based on his award-winning play.  It received several honors, including Emmy, Golden Globe, Humanities, National Board of Review and Christopher Awards.  Ruben stars alongside Anika Noni Rise in BET's new drama "The Quad," which premiered in January, 2017.  Santiago-Hudson records on Showtime's "Billions" and starred in TNT's "Public Morals."  The Lackawanna, NY, native opened the Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in 2014 in his hometown.

August Wilson

August Wilson

August Wilson (Playwright; April 27, 1945-October 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of the descendants of Africans brought to North America, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century.

These plays form a compilation entitled The American Century Cycle. His plays have been produced on Broadway, at regional theaters across the country and all over the world. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. His works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney, and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars and Jitney.  Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, and was awarded the 1999 National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street - The August Wilson Theatre.  Today, he is considered one of America’s Finest Playwrights, and is also one of the most produced. New York Public Radio recorded all ten plays in The American Century Cycle at the Greene Space, casting many of the actors that worked on the original productions. PBS aired a documentary on Mr. Wilson entitled, “The Ground On Which I Stand,” as part of the American Masters series. In December of 2016, a full feature film of August Wilson's Fences was released. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death in 2005.  He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero, who is the executor of his estate.