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July 31, 2012 > Theatre: Bare Bones staged reading of "Broke-ology"

Theatre: Bare Bones staged reading of "Broke-ology"

Submitted By Susan E. Evans

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre (DMT) is excited to introduce "Broke-ology," the third show in the 2012 "Bare Bones" staged reading series. The play, by Nathan Louis Jackson, is a warm, emotionally stirring portrait of an African-American family set in a down-at-the heels Kansas City neighborhood.

Broke-ology is the study of being broke; how Ennis, who has been caring for his ailing father, describes the situation to his younger brother Malcolm, who is back home for a while and helping out. However, Malcolm has a job offer from the University of Connecticut and wants to accept it. Tensions rise and tempers flare, but the family's love prevails.

Jackson's touching family drama continues DMT's Bare Bones series, staged readings of edgier pieces by contemporary writers. "Broke-ology" premiered at the Williamstown Theater Festival in Massachusetts with its New York premiere as the opening production of Lincoln Center Theater's 25th season in 2009.

Jackson grew up in a neighborhood in Kansas City, Kansas, much like the setting of "Broke-ology." After finishing at Kansas State University in 2007, he was accepted into Juilliard, two days before his baby daughter was born. Despite his youth, Jackson is an old-school realistic playwright. "My job is to re-create life, and I need life to do that," he says.

For his first Juilliard effort, Jackson has totally reworked a play he had already written and called it "Broke-ology," a story inspired by his own father who died in 2001. Jackson now divides his time between Los Angeles, writing for television, and Kansas City, where his wife and daughter live and where his mother still lives in the house where he grew up. Jackson is the recipient of two Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Awards, the Mark Twain Playwriting Award and the Kennedy Center's Gold Medallion. His most recent work, "When I Come to Die," explores a death-row inmate's struggle to find faith and hope and understand why his life has been spared after he survives a lethal injection.

Director Norman Gee has been involved in Bay Area theatre for over two decades as an actor, director, teaching artist, and jack of all trades. He recently returned to San Jose Stage Company as Assistant Director and Dramaturg for The Stage's world premiere production of "Buffalo'ed" by Jeannie Barroga. Norman is the Artistic Director of Oakland Public Theater, where he has directed "Children of the Last Days" and "American Limbo." A colleague of Jeannie Barroga for years, he directed an award-winning production of her play "Banyan" at the Mira Theatre.

The Douglas Morrisson Theatre is located next to the Senior Center and the Japanese Gardens. The Box Office is open Tuesday through Friday, 12:30 p.m. to 5:30 p.m.

August 7
8 p.m.
Douglas Morrisson Theatre
22311 N. Third St., Hayward
(510) 881-6777
Tickets: $10 (open seating)

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