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THE STORY OF THE PLAY

Set in 1905, THE ROYALE tells the story of Jay “The Sport” Jackson, a Black heavyweight boxing champion inspired by real-life boxing legend Jack Johnson. In the play, Jay dreams of becoming the first Black heavyweight champion of the world. 

 

Max, a White boxing promoter, sets up what he’s calling “The Fight of the Century” between Jay and the reigning champion, a White boxer. Jay is ready to seize the title from his aging opponent, who comes out of retirement just to fight him. Just by getting in the ring, Jay, a Black man, is seen as a threat to the White power structure.

 

Moments before the big fight, Jay’s sister Nina visits him. She warns Jay that if he wins, White people will use their perceived humiliation at the White boxer’s loss, as an excuse to unleash a wave of violence against Black people.

 

Does Jay fight to win the match, even if it puts Black lives at risk? Or does he let himself lose, and reinforce the racist perceptions that put him in the ring with “The Great White Hope” in the first place?

 

Set in a boxing ring and told in six rounds, THE ROYALE pits one man’s insistence on his right to his full humanity against a society that’s invested in keeping him down.

All SHOW PHOTOS BY T. CHARLES ERICKSON

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meet The Characters

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Played by
KHRIS DAVIS

JAY

“THE SPORT” JACKSON

An ambitious and outspoken Black boxer who wants to become heavyweight champion of the world

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Played by
CLARKE PETERS

Wynton

Jay’s trainer; a Black man in his 50s 

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Played by
McKINLEY BELCHER III

FISH

A young, up-and-coming Black boxer who becomes Jay’s sparring partner 

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Played by
JOHN LAVELLE

Max

A White fight promoter and boxing referee who works closely with Jay

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Played by
MONTEGO GLOVER

Nina

Jay’s fierce older sister

Watch the Royale on stage

Not part of LCT's program but want to stream THE ROYALE? Click HERE to access the video now through May 16.