Past Productions

March 19-July 3, 2005
National Pastime - The Life of Jackie Robinson

Written by Bryan Harnetiaux (Holding On~Letting Go).
Directed by James Reynolds. Presented by Fremont Centre Theatre in association with Lissa & James Reynolds.

“National Pastime,” concerns the events surrounding Jackie Robinson’s entry into the Brooklyn Dodgers, integrating Major League Baseball for the first time and changing the face of professional sports forever.

STARRING

ABOUT - Director's Notes

At Pasadena City College, Jackie Robinson set the national record for the broad jump. At UCLA he was a football All-American and lettered in four sports. Had there been an Olympics in 1940, Jack may have been at the least, a double gold medal winner. In the nineteen thirties he was American's premiere athlete...and baseball was probably his weakest sport. But Jackie Robinson the athlete is incidental to Jackie Robinson the trailblazer.

No athlete has ever been asked to perform with more pressure. Each at bat was accompanied by a downpour of racial insults from the stands and the opposing team's dugout. On the field he endured flashing cleats of opposition players intent upon injuring him. Pitchers would purposefully throw at his head. In his own locker room, players would pass by without speaking or subject him to baleful threatening stares. Each day the mail would find a large number of hate filled letters. Jackie responded by becoming Rookie of the Year and one of the best to ever play the game.

Jackie Robinson may have been the first African-American to play major league baseball, but more importantly he took the first step on the long road to equality for all Americans. Before Brown vs. Board of Education, before Rosa Parks, the Voting Rights Act, Selma,Birmingham and so many others, Jackie proved African-Americans could not onlyl perform with whites, but given the change could excel. He used a baseball field to let others use the office, the factory, the school, the laboratory, and yes, the stage to show the truths of their talents, and explore the full force of being American citizens.

REVIEWS

"..the wonderful Jed Reynolds...His portrayal of Robinson is totally glowing." - L.A. Times *CRITICS CHOICE*

"Reynolds exudes the sinewy athleticism of Robinson and is quite believable.." - Variety

"Young Jed Reynolds, handed a man whose passionate hatred of racism was played out as extreme self-control, finds that control and emphasizes it along with a rather innocent warmth." - Pasadena Star News/San Gabriel Valley Tribune

"...it's Robinson's positive effect on black folk that truly hits a home run." - L.A. Weekly *RECOMMENDED*

"The entire cast deserved the standing ovation they received." - South Pasadena Review

 

Jedy Reynolds as Jackie Robinson. Photo Steven Rae. Jed Reynolds & director James Reynolds.
Photo Steven Rae.
Frank Ashmore (as Branch Rickey),
Jed Reynolds (Jackie Robinson) & Ted Lange(as Wendell Smith).
Photo Steven Rae.

Jed Reynolds (Jackie Robinson) &
Lamont Thompson (as Leroy Satchel Paige). Photo Steven Rae.

 
Denise Boutte (as Rachel Isum Robinson) and
Jed Reynolds (Jackie Robinson).Photo Steven Rae.
 

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