“There’s not an American in this country free until every one of us is free.” – Jackie Robinson
“There was never a man in the game who could put mind and muscle together quicker and with better judgment than Robinson.” – Branch Rickey
In 1947, Jackie Robinson took the field with the Brooklyn Dodgers and changed the game of baseball forever.
Now, imagine traveling back in time to witness Robinson’s historic season firsthand. In Jackie and Me, the acclaimed book by Dan Gutman, young Joey Stoshack does exactly that. A rare baseball card transports the headstrong Little Leaguer to Branch Rickey’s office on the very day that the Dodgers’ general manager signs Robinson to become the first black man to play in the major leagues.
The extraordinary twist: Joey is now black, too.
This month, Metro Theater Company, one of America’s finest professional theaters for young people and families, will join forces with WUSTL’s Edison Ovations Series for an all-new stage production of Gutman’s magical novel.
Adapted by Steven Dietz, the play jumps forward and backward in time, juxtaposing Robinson’s tenacious courage and unwavering dignity — from opening day in Ebbets Field to the World Series in Yankee Stadium — with Joey’s own journey, which will forever change his view of history and his definition of courage.
“To step into the shoes of others is an amazing, frightening and often liberating event, and coincidentally, it’s what the theater does best,” says director Tim Ocel, who lectures in the Department of Music in Arts & Sciences.
“Theater enables actors to experience others by stepping into their skins, their lives, and in the audience we get to watch them live it,” Ocel adds. “We care because it’s our lives, our history, our possibility being told. I like a story that is filled with possibility.”
Performances of Jackie and Me begin at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 11, in Edison Theatre and continue through Jan. 27.
Tickets are $12 to $18 and are available at the Edison Theatre Box Office or www.metrotix.com. Edison Theatre is located in WUSTL’s Mallinckrodt Center, 6445 Forsyth Blvd. For more information, call the Edison Box Office at (314) 935-6543 or call Metro Theater at (314) 932-7414.
Recommended for age 9 and up.
St. Louis “Game Changers”
In conjunction with each performance, Metro Theater and Edison will honor one local “Game Changer,” who has contributed to St. Louis professionally, civically and/or artistically.
The nine honorees will be:
- James H. Buford, president and chief executive officer, The Urban League of Metropolitan St. Louis, Jan. 11
- Jorge Riopedre, executive director, Casa de Salud St. Louis, Jan. 12
- Ted Drewes Jr., owner, Ted Drewes Frozen Custard, Jan. 13
- Carol Walker, civic leader, Jan. 18
- Sandra Moore, president, Urban Strategies Inc., Jan. 19
- Cbabi Bayoc, artist, activist and mentor, Jan. 20
- Deborah Patterson, president, Monsanto Fund, Jan. 25
- Linda Goldstein, mayor, City of Clayton, Jan. 26
- Jill McGuire, founder and executive director, Regional Arts Commission, Jan. 27