MALVERN, PA — Beginning February 22, Malvern-based theatre People’s Light (39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, PA) presents Thurgood by playwright George Stevens, Jr. Actor Brian Marable (Skeleton Crew) captures Thurgood Marshall’s signature poise, wit, and storytelling skill in this captivating one-man play. Marshall devoted his life to the pursuit of a more just world over the course of his nearly six-decade career. He became known for his landmark victory in Brown v. Board of Education, 1954, earned the household nickname, the “Great Dissenter,” and was the first African American to serve on the Supreme Court. Thurgood is directed by People’s Light Associate Artistic Director Steve H. Broadnax III and runs February 22 through March 19, with 21 public performances and seven student matinees for school groups. The show will be presented on the Leonard C. Haas Stage, a performance venue housed in an 18th-century stone barn that seats 340 audience members.
First appearing on Broadway in 2008, George Stevens, Jr.’s Thurgood explores the historic life of Justice Thurgood Marshall. From watching trials at the Baltimore courthouse with his father as a child, to winning 29 of 32 civil rights cases he argued in the Supreme Court as an NAACP lawyer, Justice Marshall is credited with paving the way for young African American leaders. The play is a testament to the hard work and dedication that earned Marshall his Supreme Court nomination in 1967 and how his legacy still resonates today.
“Justice Marshall’s perspectives on justice, equality, and freedom are essential to our nation’s understanding of who we are and who we might become,” says Zak Berkman, Producing Artistic Director at People’s Light. “I am thrilled audiences of many generations will have an opportunity to witness this towering figure portrayed in this powerful production.”
Marable plays the titular role in this acclaimed one-man play. This will be his third appearance as Marshall, having previously performed the role in productions at Chautauqua Theater Company in New York and the Detroit Public Theatre.
“I am perpetually grateful for the opportunity to revisit this production because of the qualities Thurgood Marshall exemplified in his fight for equality and equal opportunities,” shares Marable. “This is a real-life American story about a real-life African American hero. I get the chance to walk in his shoes and educate audiences on his impact in such an intimate and relaxed environment. It goes beyond most theatrical experiences and is by far the greatest and most memorable work I have produced.”
This is not the first time Marable has worked with director Steve H. Broadnax III, who also serves as Associate Artistic Director at People’s Light. Broadnax staged both the Chautauqua and Detroit productions of Thurgood, and directed Marable in The Hot Wing King at The Signature Theatre, as well as Skeleton Crew at People’s Light. Broadnax is also a New Play Frontiers commissioned writer. His play Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland premiered in the spring of 2022.
When discussing Marable’s continued success in the role, Broadnax says, “Brian makes Marshall personable and embodies him with such humanity that it gives audiences the opportunity to put themselves in his shoes. It encourages you to realize that you can also do great things.”
Joining Broadnax on the creative team, Company Member Marla J. Jurglanis (The Vinegar Tree, A Christmas Carol) is Costume Designer for Thurgood, alongside returning guest artists Set Designer Tony Cisek (For Peter Pan on Her 70th Birthday, Skeleton Crew) and Sound Designer Curtis Craig (Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland, Mud Row). Lighting Designer Nic Vincent and Projections Designer Patrick W. Lord make their People’s Light debuts, with Hailey LaRoe assisting on projections design. As the first Graham Smith Acting Fellow at People’s Light, Bryanna Martinez-Jimenez has been involved in recent productions both on and offstage, and returns for Thurgood as Assistant to the Director. Longtime People’s Light collaborator Deborah Teller (Bayard Rustin Inside Ashland, The Children) rounds out the team as Stage Manager.
Before the show, attendees can also enjoy scratch cooking and theatrical sensibilities in the laid-back atmosphere of the Theatre’s newly renovated on-site restaurant, The Fern & Fable. Located just steps away from the Leonard C. Haas Stage, the restaurant occupies three rooms of a 1700s farmhouse, complete with two working fireplaces and plenty of historic quirks. During warmer months, guests dine al fresco among the lush gardens on the People’s Light campus. Reservations can be made through OpenTable here. Learn more by visiting www.farmhousepeopleslight.com/dining.
Preview performances for Thurgood are from Wednesday, February 22, through Saturday, February 25. The production opens on Sunday, February 26, with an invite-only performance and runs through Sunday, March 19. Tickets start at $47, including fees. People’s Light also offers a range of ticket discounts, including 50% off Access Nights, 25% off for educators and military, and discounted student and industry rush tickets. Learn more about available ticket discounts here. To purchase single tickets, visit peopleslight.org or call the box office at 610-644-3500. Special rates are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call Kelly Benedict at 610-647-1900, ext. 111, or email [email protected]
Thurgood is recommended for ages 10+.
Actors, prices, productions, performance dates, and times are subject to change. Additional service
charges will apply.
OPPORTUNITIES FOR STUDENTS
People’s Light offers 10 a.m. student matinee performances for school groups on February 28 and throughout March. To arrange a field trip for your classroom or homeschool group, contact Group Sales Associate Kelly Benedict at [email protected] or 610-647-1900 ext. 111. Learn more here.
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