“The funniest man I ever saw and the saddest man I ever knew.” These are the words of W.C. Fields describing Bert Williams, the first African American to have a leading role on Broadway. Impact Theatre Atlanta, a resident company of the Academy Theatre, presents Nobody: The Story of Bert Williams by C. Robert Jones opening April 8th. The show traces his life from immigrating to the United States to his minstrel show performances to his rise to Broadway fame.
In the early 19th century in the U.S., the image of blacks on stage was created by whites that performed in blackface. Williams’ trademark character, Mr. Nobody, was an expansion of the traditional role to create a more fleshed-out character.
“Bert Williams was a pioneer of his day, and a master of his art form,” says Brenda Porter, founder and Artistic Director of Impact Theatre Atlanta. “The goal of this play is to awaken a new generation to the brilliance of a man who paved the way for actors of color to define their own characters and personas on the stage. People deserve to know the story of the man behind the blackface.”
Michael Mario Good, the founder of the Good Acting Studio who stars as Bert Williams, says, “ am humbled and honored at this opportunity. This is a man whose talent was iconic and legendary. However, so few people know about him today.”
“This show exemplifies the missions and visions of both Impact Theatre Atlanta and The Academy Theatre. We want to bring audiences shows that are both thought-provoking and entertaining. This show does that,” says Fracena Byrd, Marketing Director for Academy Theatre.
This show is rated PG-13, and not suitable for young audiences.
What: Nobody by C. Robert Jones
Who: Academy Theatre and Impact Theatre Atlanta directed by Brenda Porter
|Where:||Hapeville Performing Arts Center||Stockbridge Community Arts Center|
|Address:||599 N. Central Ave., Hapeville, GA 30354||146 Burke St., Stockbridge, GA 30281|
|8pm Shows:||Apr. 8, 9, 15, 22, 23.||Apr. 30, May 7|
|2pm Shows:||Apr. 10, 16, 17, 24||May 1 and 8|
Tickets: $20 at the door, $17 online.
For more information please call the Academy Theatre at 404-474-8332 or visit www.academytheatre.org
The City of Hapeville, the Hapeville Association of Tourism and Trade, and the Academy Theatre have entered into a public/private partnership to serve the citizens of Hapeville. The City of Hapeville and the Hapeville Association of Tourism and Trade are official sponsors of the Academy Theatre’s programming in Hapeville.
The City of Stockbridge and Stockbridge Downtown Development Authority have entered into a Private/Public partnership with the Academy Theatre and The City of Stockbridge and Stockbridge Downtown Development Authority are Sponsors of the Academy’s Stockbridge work.
Academy Theatre’s programming for the 2015-2016 season is sponsored in part by the Georgia Council for the Arts.