a World Premiere
by Amy Evans
October 11 - November 5, 2017

Featuring Joy Jones as Nina Simone

Based on untold true events. It’s 1962 and music legend Nina Simone is holed up in a snowstorm in a greasy spoon somewhere in North Carolina, waiting for the trains to start running. Tempers flare between band members, and as secrets surface, it’s soon clear this small diner in unfriendly territory may well be the place where life-changing decisions are made. Suddenly, the band find themselves accused of a crime they didn’t commit. A sharply drawn, exciting new play that intimately portrays a cultural icon and the turbulent era during which she rose to fame. Directed by Reginald Douglas.

Developed in part at TheatreSquared at the Arkansas New Play Festival.


Wednesdays 7:30, Thursdays 7:30, Fridays 7:30, Saturdays 2:00 and 7:30, Sundays 2:00

 Single tickets range from $17-47—or, subscribe to the full six-play season starting at just $89. Discounts are available for groups of eight or more.

Lights Up! For Access: Thanks to support from the Walmart Foundation and others, patrons under the age of 30 pay just $10 while patrons with a SNAP benefits card pay just $5. Learn more >.

Sponsored in part by Sandy Edwards, Peter and Anne Leer, and Steve and Linda Nelson


Meet the Director

REGINALD L. DOUGLAS (Director) is the Artistic Producer of City Theatre in Pittsburgh, where he directs, develops, and line-produces bold new plays, and oversees artistic initiatives and partnerships. In addition, Reginald directs extensively throughout the country, having directed at venues including the Eugene O’Neill Center’s National Playwrights Conference, Playwrights Center, McCarter Theatre, Luna Stage, Harlem Stage, Wild Project, Pershing Square Signature Center, Drama League, Rattlestick, Culture Project, Theater Row, BRIC Arts Media, and many others. Reginald has received fellowships from New York Theater Workshop and The Lark and has assistant directed for several leading players in the field on Broadway, Off-Broadway, and regionally. His directorial work has been hailed by The New York Times, The Village Voice, Talkin' Broadway, The Star Ledger, and other leading publications. Upcoming projects include Girl Shakes Loose Her Skin (O’Neill National Music Theater Conference), Big Love (Point Park University), and Wild with Happy (City Theatre).




The Champion was originally commissioned by Dumbfounded Theatre Company UK and conceived in collaboration with Mark Rosenblatt and Noma Dumezweni. Workshop space and extensive funding for research and development was generously provided by Dumbfounded Theatre and the Young Vic Theatre.

The play was also developed with a grant from the Peggy Ramsay Foundation and support from 651 ARTS’ Artist Development Initiative, The Lark Play Development Center, and BRIC Arts Media House. Further development support came from TheatreSquared and the Arkansas New Play Festival.

Much of the story of The Champion is based on personal interviews with Christopher White, Al Schackman, and Bobby Hamilton.