American Players Theatre
5950 Golf Course Road
P.O. Box 819
Spring Green, WI 53588
Box Office: 608-588-2361
THE PRICE OF THE PRIZE
This is one of those plays that will have people talking; a production you simply will not want to miss. About the glory, and the doubt, and the very real danger that comes with blazing trails as a Black man in America. Like the sport at its center, it’s a story suffused with grace. Theatrical and kinetic, like a boxing ballet, swept along by language that’s beautiful, crisp and crystalline clear. And then there’s the fighter himself. Irresistible. Brash. Confident. At least on the outside. A man at the very top of his craft, forced by society into the role of underdog. Not that he’ll let that get in his way. Though there may be a price to be paid. A sports thriller that’s so much more, based on the life of the great Jack Johnson. Runs June 16 - September 27.
In the early 1900s, Jay Jackson, known in boxing circles as “The Sport,” is primed to become the first Black heavyweight champion of the world. It’s an opportunity to open doors for himself, and all the potential prize-fighters who come after him - most immediately, his young could-be protégé, Fish. But what is the price of bringing those barriers down? And who is reaping the rewards of his sacrifice? What do his accomplishments mean to those who come after, and what do they mean to the safety of his family in an intolerant time? A graceful, theatrical play punctuated with percussion and movement; boxing as dance.
The Royale is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com.
Casting subject to change
Director Tyrone Phillips sheds light on real-life legend Jack Johnson in APT's 'The Royale'
By Isaac Trussoni, Madison 365, June 15, 2023
APT's 'The Royale,' a star turn for Jamal James, pulls no punches
By Lindsay Christians, The Capital Times, June 16, 2023
'The Royale' at American Players Theatre is taut and action-packed
By Gwendolyn Rice, Isthmus, June 27, 2023
APT's "The Royale" speaks to the legacy of iconic boxer Jack Johnson through humor, passion, and struggle
By Isaac Trussoni, Madison 365, June 27, 2023
APT stages boxing hero's story
By Jonathan Shipley, The Wisconsin State Journal, July 15, 2023
Jamal James on APT's The Royale
Video by Hannah Jo Anderson
The moment I finished reading The Royale for the first time, I recognized what a masterpiece of theatre it was and felt it should be celebrated in the American canon. I was drawn to the movement it’s heartbeat required, to the aspirations of the characters, and to the powerful history lesson and testimony to the life and times of Jack Johnson.
America has an obsession with race that has been prevalent since the founding of our country and many of our Black everyday heroes and symbols of progress have been forgotten in history due to white supremacy and the lack of documentation. Today, there is no question that Jack Johnson was one of the best athletes of all time and that his personality was “ahead of his time” but why was he not recognized for his greatness while he was alive?
The Royale is a complex story about striving to be the best at your craft and fighting the obstacles seen and unseen in order to achieve the greatness within you. It explores the highs and the lows caused by living in the public eye, healing and overcoming past traumatic experiences, and beckons us to always remember our roots.
By taking the time to acknowledge and celebrate the legacy of Jack Johnson, my hope is that you will engage with this living monument as we right a wrong made centuries ago.
- Tyrone Phillips, Director of The Royale