By Dael Orlandersmith
Directed by Karla Hartley
Mar. 10 – 27, 2011
Thu. – Sat. 8pm, Sun. 4pm
Shimberg Playhouse, Straz Center for the Performing Arts
Creative Loafing Best of the Bay
What It's About
Finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Starring Fanni Green and Jim Wicker.
Set in a small, predominantly African-American South Carolina town, we watch Eugene and Alma grow up together and fall in love. We soon realize that their romance is challenged by prejudice within the African-American community and their own families.
While both Eugene and Alma are black, Eugene’s skin is lighter than Alma’s, and what seems on the surface to be a small distinction can truly make a world of difference. Though the play has only two actors on stage, they each play a host of other characters.
Playwright Dael Orlandersmith stated in an interview in 2002 that she knew that her piece – which along with its passionate love story, deals with “colorism”, meaning valuing a lighter skin color over a darker one within the African American community – would generate controversy.
“Any time you talk about race, it’s a risky thing,” Orlandersmith said, “This one is tough, it’s a volatile subject. But I’m here to be a mental and emotional traveler, and I’m not here to necessarily be a crowd pleaser. People need to understand that this is a story, not the story.”
The characters’ complicated relationship to their own families makes for a layered backdrop to the development of their friendship and eventual romantic entanglement, which follows them from their small town youth to the bustling lights of New York City, where Alma breaks into womanhood and self-acceptance in diverse, vibrant Harlem. The two actors show us not only the different phases of their own characters’ lives, but also must bring to life the myriad characters that make up their past, their present, their memories and the beautiful – if sometimes tattered – fabric of their shared experience.
Discuss the Show
We have a talk-back after the Fri., Mar. 18 performance. If you come that night, please feel free to stick around after and join in the discussion.
We will also have a talkback after the Sun., Mar. 28 performance with Dr. Gary Lemmons, Dr. Kim Vaz, Dr. Navita James and the cast.
Cast & Crew
- Karla Hartley – Director
- Miriam Rochford – Stage Manager
- Fanni Green – Woman
- Jim Wicker – Man
- Saidah Ben Judah – Costume Designer
- Scott Cooper – Scenic Designer
- Karla Hartley – Lighting and Sound Designer
- Greg Newcomb – Poster Artist
We saw Yellowman yesterday. We were totally BLOWN AWAY! Not only was it an incredible story, the acting was stupendous!!! I don’t think I have ever been so affected by a Jobsite production. I am still thinking about it this morning!! Thank you for a wonderful experience!! I may just have to see it again! – Dona Haig
I hope a ton of people come to see it. It was amazingly profound, touching. I’m so glad I went. – Desiree Fantal
We saw Yellowman last night at Performing Arts Center (Shimberg Theater) and it was nothing short of EXCELLENT!!! Don’t let it pass by without seeing it. – Steve Johns
Yellowman was the most amazing performance that I have seen in a very long time. – David Purnell
Just saw Jobsite’s Yellowman. An amazing piece of art. Funny, heart breaking, empowering and deeply moving. Go see this! – Katrina Stevenson
Go see Yellowman at Jobsite Theater! Karla Hartley, Jim Wicker and Fanni Green bring a truly great, emotional piece of art to the stage. You will laugh and cry, I did. Support your local arts people! – Erica Porch
Two truly outstanding performances. This show is one for the record books. Not to be missed! – Kevin Poitras
Great show!!! thanks for bringing quality theatre to Tampa Bay! – Ellen Mueller
Everyone, Yellowman is outstanding. See it. – Bridget Bean
I saw Jobsite Theater’s Yellowman and I ask you to take the time to be a witness to this profound story. I believe it is the most beautiful, moving and gorgeous performance piece I have ever seen in the Shimberg Playhouse, and it is in my top 10 theater experiences of all time. I’m not kidding. See. This. Show. – Kari Goetz
Such a beautiful show. It blew me away. – Jess Alexander
Powerful, powerful performances by jim wicker and fanni green in Yellowman @jobsitetheater GO SEE IT! – mskristinknits
Saw Yellowman tonight at @jobsitetheater. Amazing play. And Fanni Green and Jim Wicker gave incredible performances. – SkajaW
Yellowman preview night was awesome!!! You guys gotta get out to see it… I laughed, cried laughed, cried couldn’t make up my mind! Loved it! Awesome story great Actors! Catch it opening night TONIGHT at the Straz Center!!! – Flor De Liz Gutierrez-Juarez
Saw the preview last night and it was amazing! The two actors were incredibly captivating. – Tera Brady Ross
I had the most captivating experience last night where I laughed and was moved to tears. Ms. Fanni Green and Mr. Jim Wicker take you on a journey. Wonderful! – Nathalie Hostin
Yellowman was an acting Tour de Force. An uncomfortable, challenging and strangely compelling script that tells it’s story with a more direct immediacy than many plays. Both actors are more than up to the task and give stunning performances switching fluidly through their roles. This is the type of material and performances you expect from Jobsite! – David Hood
Jobsite’s Yellowman was extremely powerful. The actors are just incredible. Amazing play, loved it. You need to go see this. – Kim Smallheer
Saw Yellowman at Jobsite Theater….what a beautiful play and very enlightening:) check it out guys!!! – Jessy Julianna Quinones
Went to Yellowman last night. Excellent. Well done. – Jacob Jenkins
Please folks of Tampa Bay – if you haven’t gone to see Yellowman at the Shimberg yet, take the time and see this wonderful piece of theater. I don’t usually pitch stuff because all of you are so good at it but really – a GREAT show!!! – Roz Potenza
Saw Yellowman the other night. Kudos to all! An incredible story, beautifully told. – Christopher Swan
@jobsitetheater thanx for Yellowman. very powerful. brilliant direction. moving performances. – TampaBayOnFoot
Saw Yellowman, phenomenal acting and directing. if you are in tampa you must go see this excellent show, beautiful. thx – versusmolY
My wife and I enjoyed it greatly. You guys do tremendous work. – Sanford Betz