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Letter to the Editor: Powerful Production | “The Royale”

Letter to the Editor in the Gainesville Sun:

Powerful production

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


Hippodrome celebrates autism in the arts

The community is invited to come experience the world through the eyes of someone with autism Monday at the Hippodrome Theatre.

The Hippodrome Theatre is partnering with the UF Center for Autism and Related Disabilities and West Port High School in Ocala for “Envision the Invisible: Celebrating Autism in the Arts.” The event allows attendees to discover the beauty and importance of the arts through the lens of those with autism. It is free and open to the public.
From 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., guests are invited to browse the Hippodrome’s art gallery and attend a live performance in the cinema, where actors with autism will share their experiences through the short play, “The Invisible.” Afterward, attendees can join the evening’s featured artists for a reception in the basement.
UF CARD assistant director Danielle Liso said the event celebrates neurodiversity in the arts community. 
“We are so proud to honor the amazing talents of individuals with autism,” she said, “and we are thrilled to have the support of the Hippodrome to share these talents with the public.” 
Jess Sandino, the Hipp’s public programs director, said the theatre is honored to partner with UF CARD and West Port High School. 
“This event brings the Hippodrome’s mission of inclusion and diversity to life,” she said. “Art brings people together and helps them understand differences. The partnership with UF CARD and West Port High School allows us to connect with our community in a new way, and we are so excited to share truly outstanding artwork.”

6 p.m. to 7 p.m.: first run of performances in the cinema
7 p.m. to 8 p.m.: second run of performances in the cinema
8 p.m. to 9 p.m.: speakers’ panel in the cinema
9 p.m. to 10 p.m.: reception in the basement

*Art gallery will be open during both performances, and the Hipp encourages guests to spend part of their time perusing visual art, and the other part watching the live performances.