This January, join us for “The Royale,” a New York Times Critics’ Pick inspired by the real-life story of Jack Johnson, the first African-American World Heavyweight Champion.
Determined. Brave. Fierce. Loyal. Jay “The Sport” Jackson embodies every characteristic that defines a hero. He trail-blazed across the nation, rising from poverty in the Jim Crow south to take on the undisputed heavyweight champion of the world.
“The Royale” brings breathtaking focus to a pivotal moment in sports history — but it is Jackson’s sheer force of will, relentlessness, and fierce belief in himself that will leave you breathless.
“The play is a stylized, blazingly theatrical triumph that keeps audience members on the edge of their seats.” – Miami Herald
Written by Marco Ramirez, “The Royale” is directed on the Hippodrome Mainstage by Ryan George & Lauren Warhol Caldwell.
Tickets on sale now at thehipp.org and 352.375.4477
On stage January 10-February 11 with 8 performances a week Tuesdays at 7 p.m. | Wednesdays at 7 p.m. |Thursdays at 7 p.m. | Fridays at 8 p.m. | Saturdays at 5 p.m. and 8:30 p.m. | Sundays at 2 p.m. & 7 p.m.
Content Advisory: Some adult themes and profanity.
“Ramirez avoids cliches, preferring to delve deep into his leading character’s psyche and probe such complex questions as whether breaking down barriers or smashing glass ceilings can be almost an accident, and, either way, something not worth the personal cost.” – Chicago Tribune
“[…] a well constructed drama that captures both the beautiful frenzy of boxing and the (sadly still relevant) volatile state of race relations in America.” – The Telegraph
|Jay||Bryce Michael Wood|
|Wynton||E. Stanley Richardson|
|Director||Lauren “Warhol” Caldwell|
|Stage Manager||Amber Wilkerson*|
|Assistant Stage Manager||Carley Selah|
|Production Manager/Lighting Designer||Robert P. Robins|
|Technical Director||Michael Eaddy|
|Master Electrician||Niel Bearden|
|Scenic Designer||Mihai Ciupe|
|Sound Designer||Amanda Yanes|
|Costume Designer/ Costume Shop Adviser||Jessica Kreitzer|
|Costume Shop Foreman||Jill Parzych|
|Props Designer||Tim Dygert|
|Rudi Goblen||Movement Director|
Letter to the Editor in the Gainesville Sun:
As a longtime Hippodrome patron, I am moved to share my experience at the recent production of “The Royale” by Marco Ramirez. It was one of the most powerful, profound and entertaining evenings of theater I’ve ever witnessed.
The play, inspired by Jack Johnson, the first African American heavyweight boxing champion, is a searing, brutal, example of theater at its best. The direction by Lauren Warhol Caldwell and Ryan George is inspired. The movement direction by Rudi Goblen is magnificent as is the extraordinary ensemble cast of Bryce Michael Wood, E. Stanley Richardson, Renata Eastlick and Dylan Kammerer. The atmosphere, created by lighting designer Bob Robins, set designer Mihai Ciupe, costume designer Jessica Kreitzer and technical director Michael Eaddy is simple, beautiful and effective.
If you want a once-in-a lifetime experience that will leave you changed, inspired and uplifted by the sheer artistry of the event, “The Royale” is a knockout.
Mark Sexton, Alachua County
Check out this video for a bit of insight on one of the actors, and co-director, Ryan George, and for a sneak-peek glimpse of what "The Royale" holds, for those of you who haven't seen it yet. Showtimes for today, Saturday, January 20th are 5pm and 8:30pm!Tickets and information at 352.375.4477 and https://tickets.thehipp.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=1725
Posted by Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday, January 20, 2018
Get to know E. Stanley Richardson, the actor who plays Wynton in our amazing mainstage production, "The Royale." Hear some insight into his character and some of his favorite things about the production and get a sneak peek of the show! Showtimes for today, Sunday, January 28th are 2pm and 7pm! Tickets and information at 352.375.4477 and https://tickets.thehipp.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=1725
Posted by Hippodrome Theatre on Sunday, January 28, 2018
Good morning Gainesville! We sat down with Bryce Michael Wood, the actor who plays Jay "The Sport" Jackson, and asked him about himself and the wonderful show him and his fellow cast have been performing on our mainstage, "The Royale." If you haven't seen it yet, you've got to come check it out! The showtime for today, Tuesday, January 30th is 7pm! Tickets and information at 352.375.4477 and https://tickets.thehipp.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=1725
Posted by Hippodrome Theatre on Tuesday, January 30, 2018
Stay tuned for upcoming insight from actors Renata and Dylan!
We're so excited to share this production with all of you! Performances of "THE ROYALE" start next week! Tomorrow (Sunday 1/7) is the final day for 50% off presale tickets with coupon code ROYALE50. Call now! 352-375-4477 or visit https://tickets.thehipp.org/TheatreManager/1/online?event=0
Posted by Hippodrome Theatre on Saturday, January 6, 2018
The rave reviews are in! “The Royale” delivers a knock-out punch! The Gainesville Sun reviewer Ron Cunningham writes, ‘The Royale’ plays out more like a dreamy ballet set to gritty rhythm. And the effect is sublime.” Come see for yourself what made audience members jump to their feet in a full standing ovations every single night! Make your reservations for THE ROYALE now at 352.375.4477 or online at thehipp.org
Read all about “The Royale” and the electrifying partnership of co-directors Ryan George and Lauren Warhol Caldwell through the eyes of local acclaimed writer Timothy Shamrock McShane:
“Ryan George has in-the-ring know-how to apply to The Royale, intimate experience of playing it in a hit production in Coral Gables, Warhol has Hipp know-how, expressionistic chops and a social conscience.” Discount previews start tonight! Tickets to The Royale at 352.375.4477 and thehipp.org.
“Dylan Kammerer, a UF grad who now lives in Brooklyn, said that any good ensemble piece “lives and dies by the heartbeat that is one.” Such is the case with The Royale.
“I think what Marco’s done really well is offer a piece of theater that is so exciting and so nonstop and almost filmic in a way in that you can’t take your eyes off of it, and we don’t give you the opportunity, and when we do, it just rips your heart out.”
“People who have never been to the Hippodrome before are going to love it.” UF School of Theatre + Dance
Check out today’s cover story of the Gainesville Scene! The preview article for “The Royale” is featured, by Sara Marino. Come down to the Hipp for a discount preview performance at 7 tonight to see what it’s all about.
“I think that it’s an ensemble in that it lives and dies by the heartbeat that is one with this cast,” Kammerer said. “What it’s done really well is provide a piece of theater that is so exciting and so nonstop, and it’s almost like a film in a way that you can’t take your eyes off of it.”
Nell Page and Kevin Rainsberger present a dramatic reading of Christian O’Reilly’s play CHAPATTI at the Hippodrome Theatre on Monday, January 29 at 7 p.m.
The reading is a benefit performance for Run Amuck with the Duck, andThe Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation. The Bonnie J. Addario Lung Cancer Foundation is one of the largest philanthropies devoted exclusively to eradicating Lung Cancer through research, early detection, education, and treatment. The Foundation’s goal is to work with a diverse group of physicians, organizations, industry partners, individuals, patients, survivors, and their families to identify solutions and make timely and meaningful change and turn lung cancer into a chronically managed disease by 2023.
With this reading, Kevin and Nell pay tribute to artist, colleague and friend Ric Rose who fought a valiant battle against lung cancer.
CHAPATTI tells the story of a man and his dog, a woman and her 19 cats and how their lives inadvertently become intertwined.
When Bryan Mercer was a student at Vangaurd High School in Ocala, he auditioned for “Godspell” on a dare.
Since then, he’s lived in New York and Atlanta, working as an actor and musical director, composer and teacher. He prefers central Florida over those larger cities for its abundance of trees and moss.
Currently, he is channeling his Florida roots and love for the swamp as Frog in “A Year with Frog and Toad” at the Hippodrome Theatre, now on the Mainstage.
Mercer started working at the Hippodrome as a musical director in 2006, beginning with “The Great American Trailer Park Musical.” His first acting role at the theatre was not until in 2015 in “Mr. Burns: A Post-electric Play.” Now, he a company member at the Hippodrome and calls it his home theatre.
“Some of my best roles, some of my best work has been down here,” he said. “This has a community, a village to support this amazing place. It’s everything I want.”
Throughout his career, Mercer has played leading love interests, drag characters and monsters. Among them all, he said Frog is the closest role to himself he has ever played. Mercer said he relates to Frog’s his joy for music and harmony and understanding of nature and stillness.
“I am very much of a frog. I must have moss and water and springs and trails.”
This is Mercer’s fifth time playing the role. This time, Frog is older, wiser, simpler and more kind, he said.
“He’s made friends with his problems, his emotions, his past and his future.”
Friendships are serious relationships, and Frog honors them in a way audiences can admire, Mercer said. In Frog’s ballad, “Alone,” he explains gently to toad that because of their friendship, he is not alone.
“That’s the most beautiful thing about the production,” he said. “Frog is a character that’s learned, no, nothing in life is exactly as we wish,” Mercer said. “No friend is perfect. If we are to have friends, if we are to have relationships, we must accept them unconditionally for what they are.”
Ultimately, Mercer said he hopes the audience finds kindness, gentleness and healing in “A Year with Frog and Toad.”
“When’s the last time you can say you went to the theatre and felt better about yourself? Or had hope for the future? Or made you want to do something nice? Or hug your parents just a little extra longer?”
For reservations, call 352-375-4477 or visit thehipp.org/holidayshows.
“Once I put up the decorations, everyone at the Hipp gets into the Christmas spirit,” Sharon Wary Patton said. “Everyone seems to care about each other a little bit more.”
Patton has been visiting the Hippodrome Theatre during the holidays to spread Christmas cheer with dazzling decorations for the past six years. A former employee peaked her interest in the gig, and since then, she has been returning every year.
“I think the Hipp is even more special during the holidays because of all the festivities and programs they put on,” Patton said. This holiday season, family-friendly “A Year with Frog and Toad” and the 40th Anniversary production of Charles Dickens’ “A Christmas Carol” share the Mainstage and open Thanksgiving weekend.
This magical time of the year would not be the same without Patton’s efforts.
When she is not at the Hipp, Patton works as a full-time caregiver and selflessly spends her time ensuring the wellbeing of her patients.
Patton is inspired by serving and helping others. She says that she keeps coming back to the Hipp every year because she recognizes that people appreciate her work.
The Hipp and Patton have collaborated on many decorating projects, and recycle most of the same ornaments and lights every year. Decorating the Hipp is not the only holiday tradition she likes to celebrate.
“I love getting together with my family and watching the classic holiday movies,” Patton said. “I’d say that’s my favorite part about Christmas — spending time with my loved ones.”
One thing is for certain, holidays at the Hipp are even brighter with Patton!
For reservations to one of our holiday shows, click here or call 352.375.4477.
After-school classes at the Hippodrome are the best way to foster your child’s enthusiasm for art and theatre. Our after-school series focuses on acting skills, improv and playwriting. We believe that these subjects will expand your child’s storytelling abilities by developing character study, writing exercises and performance techniques. Join us for an action-packed and enriching experience your kids won’t want to miss.REGISTER ONLINE