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Jubilee Theatre Announces 35th Season – With Guest Directors 22

Brochure Cover ImageNorth Texas’ longest-established African-American company is still standing and producing shows. But the need for a new Jubilee Theatre season staged entirely by guest directors is plain enough: Tre Garrett, the artistic director hired five years ago to run the theater, is “no longer associated with Jubilee,” said David Hadlock, the theater’s marketing manager.

Garrett — whose full name is Declois Garrett Beacham — was placed on administrative leave after he was arrested January 31st this year for allegedly soliciting sex for $100 from two boys, one 11-year-old and the other 17-year-old. Samantha Jordan, communications officer with the Tarrant County district attorney’s office, says the charges are still pending, with the next court date set for June 30th. Through his attorney, Patrick Curran, the Houston native has denied the charges.


Sharon Benge. Photo from Art Matters Radio.

Longtime North Texas arts maven Sharon Benge is consulting with the company, Hadlock said, and will direct the season opener, Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill. Benge teaches drama at Texas Women’s University and has previously directed productions at Jubilee and many other area theaters. She also co-hosted Art Matters for 25 years on WRR-FM.

At 35 years old, Jubilee is the oldest, established African-American theater company in North Texas, and the new season reflects a return to its traditions — including a revival of God’s Trombones, a popular musical adaptation of poems by James Weldon Johnson created by Rudy Eastman, who founded Jubilee and died in 2005. The season also continues Jubilee’s commitment to the 10-play cycle by Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson with a production of his drama, Seven Guitars.

The company is currently presenting Sunset Baby through June 28th.

Here is the complete release:

35 Years of Great Theatre
Jubilee Theatre Announces
The 2015-2016 Season

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill
by Lanie Robertson
Oct. 2 – Nov. 1, 2015
The time is 1959. The place is a seedy bar in Philadelphia. The audience is about to witness one of Billie Holiday’s last singing appearances, given just four months before her death. The performance includes more than a dozen of her biggest musical numbers, which are interlaced with salty, often humorous reminiscences of the lady and her music. So pull up a chair and order up a drink because she’s got a life to sing.

Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, INC.

Do You Hear What I Hear! A Jubilee Christmas
by Akiń Babatundé and Geno Young
Nov. 27 – Dec. 27, 2015
Do you have trouble getting into the Christmas spirit every year? If so, we have a tried and true cure for that! Join us for the most jubilant celebration of the holidays in Texas, filled with songs of the season and performed in that unmistakable Jubilee Theatre style. The perfect holiday event for the entire family, which will leave everyone filled with joy and ready to trim their tree. Caution: This show could be life-changing for the Scrooge in your life!

Seven Guitars
by August Wilson
Jan. 29 – Feb. 28, 2016
Seven Guitars explores the hope, heartbreak, and heritage of the African-American experience in the twentieth century.
In 1948 Pittsburg, a small group of friends gather following the untimely death of Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton, a local blues guitarist who was on the edge of stardom. Together they reminisce about his short life and discover the unspoken passions and undying spirit that lives within each of them.

Seven Guitars is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, INC.

God’s Trombones
Based on the Sermon Poems of
James Weldon Johnson
Book by Rudy Eastman
Music and lyrics by Douglas Balentine
March 25 – April 24, 2016

This timeless Jubilee classic with book by Jubilee Theatre founder Rudy Eastman and composer Douglas Balentine, has been among the most popular productions in the legacy of Jubilee Theatre’s rich history. Staged multiple times since our theatre was founded in 1981, God’s Trombones is a musical celebration that is guaranteed to lift your spirits and rock your soul. The revival of this show is the perfect complement to our 35th Anniversary Season and is certain to perform to sold-out houses.

Livin’ Fat
By Judi Ann Mason
May 27 – June 26, 2016

The Cooper family is poor, but happy. Their son is David Lee, a recent college graduate who has had to take a job as a bank janitor. When the bank is robbed, the thieves drop a bundle and David Lee picks it up and its $50,000! So he buys presents for the entire family, but when they find out where the money came from, their scruples are tested. In time however, they finally agree that the Lord works in mysterious ways and this time… He’s working for them!

“Witty, incisive and downright hilarious”
-Show Business
“This comedy had the audience stamping its feet in high glee”
-Cleveland Press

Livin’ Fat is presented by special arrangement with Samuel French, INC.

Smokey Joe’s Café
The Songs of Leiber and Stoller
Words and music by
Jerry Leiber and Mike Stoller
July 29 – Aug. 24, 2016

Welcome to Smokey Joe’s Café, where the Coasters are headlining and there’s always a party! This Tony-Award nominated and Grammy-Award winning salute to legendary songwriters Leiber and Stoller is a raise-the-roof, song and dance celebration of some of rock ‘n’ roll’s greatest hits! Nearly 40 songs including Hound Dog, Stand By Me, Yakety Yak, Jailhouse Rock, On Broadway, Love Potion #9, Fools Fall in Love and many more, set the beat for rock ‘n’ roll hits spanning the 50’s and 60’s. You won’t want to miss this show, which still holds the record as the longest running revue on Broadway!

Smokey Joe’s Café: The Songs of Leiber and Stoller is presented through special arrangement with R&H Theatricals:
A Proud History – A Promising Future

These words have long been associated with Jubilee Theatre and our distinct logo.
As we celebrate our 35th Anniversary Season, “A Proud History – A Promising Future”
has renewed meaning and could not be more fitting for the theatrical productions
chosen to represent our 2015-2016 Season. Experience stellar works never seen
on the Jubilee stage, our cherished Christmas production and a returning favorite,
God’s Trombones which pays tribute to Jubilee Theatre founder Rudy Eastman.
A Proud History – A Promising Future and you’re invited!

Season tickets are now available online at or by calling the Box Office at 817-338-4411

Jubilee Theatre, the Fort Worth / Dallas area’s only African-American theater producing a full season of shows, exists to create and present theatrical works that reflect the African-American experience.

Located at 506 Main Street in Sundance Square, downtown Fort Worth
Jubilee Theatre is easily accessible from anywhere in the DFW metroplex.