Kennie Playhouse Theatre celebrates the Negro Leagues with ‘The Last Season’

Last Season Cast (L-R) Kenny Dozier, De’Yonte’ Jenkins, Elliott Robinson, Steven Rhodes, and Paj Jackson. (Photo by Eric Jackson)

Christopher Moore’s latest stage play is coming to DarkHorse Theatre in Nashville. Kennie Playhouse Theatre will present ‘The Last Season’ by Christopher Moore, a stage play celebrating the rich history of the Negro Leagues. Kennie Playhouse Theatre is a theater company offering thought-provoking plays with a mission to teach, reach, and entertain audiences while offering a dynamic platform where artists showcase their talents.

In the early days of professional baseball, black players weren’t accepted into the big leagues, and even later, blacks weren’t prominently selected. This led to the birth of the Negro Leagues. In fall 1946, the Montgomery Black Kings had back to back championships in the Negro Leagues. During this time, Jackie Robinson was in the Major Leagues seemingly representing all black players, and while his legacy is cherished, there were Negro Leagues players whose talent matched and even rivaled Robinson’s.

“The Kings are in the Negro Leagues,” said Kenny Dozier of Kennie Playhouse Theatre. “The Kings are the champs…This is their story.”

Today, the history of the Negro Leagues is preserved by museums such as the Birmingham Negro Southern League Museum and the Negro League Baseball Museum. Moore and Kennie Playhouse Theatre aim to help help preserve this rich history with ‘The Last Season.’

“The Last Season” is a story about those back to back championship Negro League baseball players on the team called “The Montgomery Black Kings.” The team has pride and is highly skilled, probably second to none, but now that Jackie Robinson has gone to the majors, they begin to have questions about themselves and their future. The pressure of gaining acceptance from the majors or losing the incredible life they already have brings tension to these players, who now are being faced with their fans’ sudden lack of interest.

“Childhood dreams of ‘what if’ or ‘why not’ loom in these locker rooms. To fully embrace the present of baseball in America, one must fully embrace our past of baseball, which is the Negro Leagues,” said Dozier.

The Last Season” by Christopher Moore is the First Place Winner of the Theodore Ward Prized for African American Playwriting in 1987-1988. It is featured in the book “Seven Black Plays” edited by Chuck Smith (Resident Director at the Goodman Theatre). The book features seven black plays written by black playwrights and who all won the Theodore Ward Prize for African American Playwriting.

The Last Season’ will feature some of Nashville’s most talked about talent, including Shawn Whitsell, Kenny Dozier, Elliott Robinson, Paj Jackson, Patrick Christian, Steven Rhodes, De’Yonte’ Jenkins, Bobby Daniels, and Chilton Stewart.

‘The Last Season’ will be presented at DarkHorse Theater from November 28, 2019, through December 7, 2019, at 7:30 pm, with two matinee performances on Saturdays at 2pm and Sundays at 4pm. Early bird tickets are $10, while regular tickets will be $15 in advance and $20 at the door. Contact thelastseason.eventbrite.com for tickets. More information can be found at http://www.kennieplayhousetheatre.com.