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The Justice Theater Project presents “Let Justice Roll Like a River” 2015-16 Season


justice-theater-project2015-2016 season “Let Justice Roll Like a River” – The Justice Theater Project (JTP) will revisit four shows that helped define our theatre, starting the season with the show that began our journey in 2004.

A Lesson Before Dying” By Romulus Linney

Black Nativity” By Langston Hughes

Tuesdays with Morrie” by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom

Still…Life. An Exploration of a Killing State, North Carolina” by Deb Royals

A Musical in June we can’t name until January… due to contractual obligations

October 2015 – June 2016

Our Season:

Let Justice Roll Like a River”, based on input on our history of shows, original projects and programming, is a season that will render performances and discussions around racism, the death penalty, fair immigration reform, fair wage, equality, and health care. These performances will be tied to thorough educational, experiential, performance moments and discussions around important issues of social concern.   Through this innovative work JTP will continue to reach its diverse audiences and engage them in a way that inspires them to return to shows, bring friends, and forge new partnerships.  JTP, a professional theater company, is well known for its progressive work and collaborations.

October 9 – 24, 2015. “A Lesson Before Dying” by Romulus Linney, based on the novel by Ernest J. Gaines

Lesson Before Dying” was first presented by JTP in 2004, and sparked the dialogue and interest that began our theatre company. “A Lesson Before Dying” poses the question: Knowing we’re going to die, how should we live? It’s the story of an uneducated young black man named Jefferson, accused of the murder of a white storekeeper, and Grant Wiggins, a college educated native son of Louisiana, who teaches at a plantation school. These two men named for presidents discover a friendship that transforms at least two lives. In a powerful story that explores the barbarism and nobility of which humans are equally capable, and asks us all to consider how we all might make a bid for dignity in this world of violence.

Featuring: Joseph Callender as Grant Wiggins, Loretta Green and Gwen Veale Hendrix (u) as Emma Glen, Gil Faison as Jefferson, Michael Lester as Sam Guidry, Sean Wellington and Colten Moyer (u) as Paul Bonin, Juan Isler as Reverend Moses Ambrose, and Connie McCoy Rogers and Leslie Richardson (u) as Vivian Baptiste.

Deb Royals – Director/Associate Technical Director/Set Design/Set Build team

Jeff Nugent – Associate Technical Director/Set build team

JaMeeka Holloway-Burrell- Stage Manager

Arthur Reese – Sound and Light Designer

Brenda Hayes – JTP Resident Costume Designer

Auri Wilds and Lindsey Young – Sound and Light Interns

Erin Folk – Props Design/Set Build team

Events and Discussions Surrounding the show:

All discussions are free and open to the public.

Friday, October 9, 6:30 pm Bring your dinner and join in a pre-show discussion with JTP Artistic Director Deb Royals. “The Death Penalty in NC- Where we are today.”  No ticket to a show is required to attend the free discussion.

Saturday, October 10, 6:30 pm Pre-show discussion. 8:00 pm show.

Sunday, October 11 is $14 day for all seats.

Tuesday, October 13 –  10:00 am and 7:00 pm. “A Lesson Before Dying” Book Discussion with Fr. Steve Kluge. Free.

Friday, October 16 – 8:00 pm show Free admission for visually impaired patron and their driver. Reservations required.

Saturday, October 17, 6:30 pm Pre-show discussion with Dr. Sheila Smith McKoy.  “Structural Racism.” No ticket to the show is required to attend the free discussion. Light refreshments provided.

Sunday, October 18 has free childcare services for potty trained children over age 3.

Monday, October 19, 9:30 am “Over 55” weekday show. $14 admission. Reservations required.

Thursday, October 22, 6:30 pm Pre-show discussion with Trevor Thomson and Deb Royals “Catholic Social Teaching, the Death Penalty and Moral Decisions”. Light refreshments included.

Friday, October 23, 8:00 pm show

Saturday, October 24, 1:30 pm Pre-show discussion with Deb Royals and the JTP Education and Action Committee “Catholic Social Teaching, The Death Penalty and Moral Decisions”. Light refreshments provided.  3:00 pm show

Daytime High School Performances available for booking: October 12, 13, 15, and 20

9:30 a.m.  $10 per student. 

Daytime Seniors Over 55 Performance, October 19 – 9:30 a.m. $14 per person.

December 19-22, 2015 “Black Nativity” by Langston Hughes. Stewart Theatre, NC State University campus. A Downtown Raleigh Holiday Tradition. Back for a fifth year of sold out performances! With shows traditionally selling out one month prior to opening, JTP has secured the newly renovated 750 seat Stewart Theatre, doubling our previous capacity. The Justice Theater Project presents this beautiful retelling of the birth of Jesus according to the Gospel of Saint Luke with the lyrical verse and poetry of Langston Hughes, including gospel music and dance. JTP includes a multi-cultural chorus in all “Black Nativity” productions. Directed by Deb Royals, Music Direction by Carolyn Colquitt, Choreography by Chuck Davis and Kristi Vincent Johnson.

Nonprofit partners are invited to once again be featured in our lobby during “Black Nativity”.

February 5-21, 2016 – “Tuesdays with Morrie” by Jeffrey Hatcher and Mitch Albom. St. Francis of Assisi, Clare Hall, Raleigh. Directed by Andy Hayworth

An intimate portrait of a man and his legacy of love and lifelong learning. 

Featuring Jerry Sipp as sportswriter Mitch Albom, and John Honeycutt as college professor Morrie Schwartz. Described by the New York Times as “a touching, life-affirming, deeply emotional drama with a generous dose of humor.” After losing track of his college mentor Morrie, Mitch is in the throes of middle age career advancement, family obligations and a fast paced life that seems cold and leaves little time for introspection. Mitch once again is curious about those bigger questions that were once so important to him in his youth. Mitch meets with Morrie in his study every Tuesday, just like they used to back in college, and Morrie advises Mitch to reject the popular culture in favor of creating his own. The individualistic culture Morrie encourages Mitch to create for himself is a culture founded on love, acceptance, and human goodness, a culture that upholds a set of ethical values unlike the mores that popular culture endorses. Popular culture, Morrie says, is founded on greed, selfishness, and superficiality, which he urges Mitch to overcome, making a place where humanity can grow.



April 28 – May 1, 2016 – “Still…Life. An Exploration of a Killing State, North Carolina” Umstead Park United Church of Christ, 8208 Brownleigh Drive, Raleigh NC 27617. With additional shows in NYC during the month of April, in partnership with the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province.

Written by Deb Royals and members of The Justice Theater Project. First presented in 2006, the original show “Still…Life. An Exploration of a Killing State, North Carolina” was written after extensive field work and research into the many sides of the people affected by the death penalty in North Carolina. The first-hand accounts and slides show exactly what takes place at a state-sponsored execution, as well as glimpses into points of view of those that have lost a loved one to murder, and those who have loved someone executed by the state. A pastor ministering to death row inmates lovingly keeps the handkerchief used to wipe the tears of an executed inmate. A daughter relives the tale of her mother’s murder. A soon to be executed prisoner apologizes to the family of the victim. Told with stark visuals, and with a newly added musical element, this glimpse into the human toll of the death penalty in North Carolina is once again a timely reminder of where we “sit in our state” during the current state wide moratorium.

June 2016 A Musical, of course! St. Francis of Assisi, Clare Hall.

June is traditionally musical month for us, and this year is no exception. JTP will reprise a show that we performed in June of 2013, that completely sold out before opening and night, and featured a multigenerational and multicultural cast of 60 actors and singers. The show will be formally announced on January 17th at midnight.

The Justice Theater Project was supported by the N.C. Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. The Justice Theater Project is funded in part by the City of Raleigh based on recommendations by the Raleigh Arts Commission. The Justice Theater Project is supported by the United Arts Council of Raleigh and Wake County. “Still…Life” is supported by the Franciscan Friars of the Holy Name Province. The Catholic Community of Saint Francis of Assisi


The Justice Theater Project (JTP) is an advocacy and activist theater company whose mission is to use the performing arts to bring to the fore of public attention the needs of the poor, the marginalized, and the oppressed. Each year JTP presents a diverse combination of original works, main stage productions, and community outreach events focusing on issues of social justice.

JTP provides free admission for the visually impaired, and extends an extraordinary amount of complimentary tickets to local nonprofit organizations. All shows feature discussions, educational opportunities, and outreach.

Media Contacts:

Melissa Zeph, Managing Director, (919)215-0889,

Deb Royals Mizerk, Artistic Director, (919)272-1551

Web information: General JTP information and on line tickets: Theater Phone Number: (919)264-7089

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