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Estrella: ‘JQA’ Reminds ‘We Are The Government’

About half a dozen food trucks served food to a hungry crowd at The GAMM Theatre Sept. 6.
About half a dozen food trucks served food to a hungry crowd at The GAMM Theatre Sept. 6.
About half a dozen food trucks served food to a hungry crowd at The GAMM Theatre Sept. 6.

WARWICK, RI — The Sandra Feinstein-Gamm Theatre (The Gamm) has added Aaron Posner’s new play JQA in the second slot of the 2019-2020 lineup.

Artistic Director Tony Estrella will direct the New England premiere of JQA, in which a diverse cast of four actors share the role of one-term American President John Quincy Adams.

Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’ An Octoroon, previously announced as the season’s second play, will open The Gamm’s 2020-2021 season instead.

Joe Wilson, Jr., Coordinator of Activism through Performance and Resident Acting Company Member at Trinity Repertory Company, will direct Jacobs-Jenkins’ Obie Award-winning play that explodes ideas about race and American identity.

JQA runs from Oct. 24 – Nov. 17 at The Gamm Theatre, 1245 Jefferson Blvd., Warwick, RI. Season subscriptions for Season 35 are on sale now. Single tickets go on sale in early August. Information at gammtheatre.org.

Estrella called JQA a natural fit for the season.

“Next year’s plays were chosen to focus on specifically American themes, with a variety of contemporary works examining how we are living right now,” he said.

“Like An OctoroonJQA does just that. It asks us to look at the formative years of our democracy and take responsibility for its health and vibrancy. It’s a great reminder that we are the government. We are very lucky to land only the second production of Posner’s acclaimed play, which premiered last spring at Arena Stage in Washington D.C.,” Estrella said. “By rescheduling An Octoroon, we ensure a terrific opener for the following season, most importantly with Joe Wilson, Jr. at the helm. Joe is a first class theater maker and a committed, passionate advocate for theater’s role in shaping community. I couldn’t think of a better artist for the job.”

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Wilson said he is already looking forward to directing An Octoroon, about the nephew of a plantation owner who falls in love with a beautiful, one-eighth black “octoroon.” The evil overseer overseer, M’Closky, has other plans for both.

“I am so excited to have the opportunity to work with Tony and the entire Gamm family on this extraordinary play by one of themost important writers of our time,” Wilson said. “This work is raw, thrilling, humorous and provocative. I hope that our journey in exploring and producing this work will be transformative for both The Gamm Theatre as an institution and the community at large. I could not feel more honored, humbled, and grateful to be able to help unlock the power of this play and experience this profound story alongside every member our beloved community.”

Author: Rob Borkowski

Rob has worked as reporter and editor for several publications, including The Kent County Daily Times and Coventry Courier, before working for Gatehouse in MA then moving home with Patch Media. Now he's publisher and editor of WarwickPost.com. Contact him at editor@warwickpost.com with tips, press releases, advertising inquiries, and concerns.

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