MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY Garners Nominations for Six Drama Desk Awards, Two Drama League Awards and an Outer Critics Circle Award

The critically acclaimed Broadway debut of August Wilson’s Jitney, directed by Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, racked up six Drama Desk Award nods on the late playwright’s birthday, April 27th, including Outstanding Play Revival, Outstanding Actor for John Douglas Thompson, Outstanding Director for Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Outstanding Music for Bill Sims Jr., Outstanding Set Design for David Gallo and Outstanding Costume Design for Toni Lesli-James.

Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang
Ray Anthony Thomas, Keith Randolph Smith, Anthony Chisholm, John Douglas Thompson, Brandon J. Dirden, Carra Patterson, André Holland, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks at the closing night curtain call of August Wilson’s JITNEY at MTC’s Samuel J. Friedman Theatre on March 12, 2017. Photo by Lia Chang

The cast featured Harvy Blanks as “Shealy;” Tony Award nominee Anthony Chisholm as “Fielding,” Obie and Theatre World Award winner Brandon Dirden as “Booster;” André Holland as “Youngblood;” Carra Patterson as “Rena,”  Michael Potts as “Turnbo,” Ray Anthony Thomas as “Philmore;” Keith Randolph Smith, as “Doub” and Drama Desk Award winner John Douglas Thompson as “Becker.”

Michael Potts, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and André Holland in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang
Michael Potts, Anthony Chisholm, Harvy Blanks and André Holland in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang

Jitney also garnered Drama League Award nominations for Outstanding Revival of a Play and a Distinguished Performance Award for John Douglas Thompson, and the Outer Critics Circle Award nomination for Outstanding Revival of a Play.

John Douglas Thompson, André Holland and Cara Patterson in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang
John Douglas Thompson, André Holland and Cara Patterson in JITNEY. Photo by Lia Chang

Set in the early 1970s, this richly textured piece follows a group of men trying to eke out a living by driving unlicensed cabs, or Jitneys. When the city threatens to board up the business and the boss’ son returns from prison, tempers flare, potent secrets are revealed and the fragile threads binding these people together may come undone at last.

John Douglas Thompson as Becker, Michael Potts as Turnbo, Anthony Chisholm as Fielding and Brandon J. Dirden as Booster. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
John Douglas Thompson as Becker, Michael Potts as Turnbo, Anthony Chisholm as Fielding and Brandon J. Dirden as Booster. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The Drama Desk nominees will receive their official nomination certificates at the nominees’ reception on May 10th at The New York Marriott Marquis.

Harvy Blanks as Shealy, Michael Potts as Turnbo, Brandon J. Dirden (kneeling) as Booster and Andre Holland as Youngblood. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus
Harvy Blanks as Shealy, Michael Potts as Turnbo, Brandon J. Dirden (kneeling) as Booster and Andre Holland as Youngblood. Photo Credit: Joan Marcus

The full list of nominees is available here.

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The 62nd Annual Drama Desk Awards, hosted by Michael Urie, will be held at The Town Hall (123 W. 43rd Street) on Sunday, June 4th. Tickets can be purchased  at www.DramaDeskAwards.com.

Barry Grove, André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Constanza Romero, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith, Lynne Meadow and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang
Barry Grove, André Holland, John Douglas Thompson, Ray Anthony Thomas, Carra Patterson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Constanza Romero, Anthony Chisholm, Michael Potts, Harvy Blanks, Keith Randolph Smith, Lynne Meadow and Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

In keeping with the Drama Desk’s mission, nominators considered shows that opened on Broadway, Off Broadway and Off Off Broadway during the 2016-2017 New York theater season. Eligibility and award category designations for the productions under consideration this season were determined by the Drama Desk Board of Directors with recommendations from the Nominating Committee.

August Wilson’s JITNEY Starring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, Andre Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas and John Douglas Thompson, Ends Run on Broadway

Inside the Opening Night Party with JITNEY Director Ruben Santiago-Hudson and Company 

Getting to Know the Cast of August Wilson’s JITNEY at Manhattan Theatre Club; Previews Begin Dec. 28

Inside Rehearsals of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY; Previews Begin December 28

Meet the Cast of MTC’s Broadway Debut of August Wilson’s JITNEY, Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Featuring Harvy Blanks, Anthony Chisholm, Brandon Dirden, André Holland, Carra Patterson, Michael Potts, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, John Douglas Thompson 

André De Shields, Billy Eugene Jones, George Faison, Constanza Romero, Lori Tan Chinn and More Celebrate August Wilson’s SEVEN GUITARS Opening Night at Yale Rep 

MAURICE HINES TAPPIN’ THRU LIFE, Dominique Morriseau’s SKELETON CREW, Marjorie Johnson, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Tina Fabrique, Joe Morton and Debra Ann Byrd Among 2016 AUDELCO Winners 

Photos: All-Access Pass to August Wilson’s Two Trains Running with John Earl Jelks, Harvy Blanks,Chuck Cooper, Anthony Chisholm, Owiso Odera, Roslyn Ruff and James A. Williams 

Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits
Lia Chang_photo by Garth Kravits

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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