(Buffalo, N.Y.) – The Paul Robeson Theatre began its season with a production of “Jitney,” which opened on Sept. 30.
The play takes place in 1977 and focuses on gypsy cab drivers in Pittsburgh. It is the seventh in playwright August Wilson’s 10 play cycle, in which each play highlights a particular decade in the African American experience.
Artistic director Paulette Harris says the production touches on important themes, but is also enjoyable for the audience. She said that men specifically can connect to the jitney station and its use as a hangout spot for the central characters.
“You get all types of conversations. It kind of reminds you of a barbershop. You know at a barbershop, it’s so therapeutic it’s a place where men go to hang out. Thats how this jitney station is so a lot of people will feel at home,” Harris said.
Harris believes it is important to continue showcasing Wilson’s work to make sure new generations know who he is and his importance in shedding a light on African American culture.
“His writing, it gives us and the audience the opportunity to see a little bit about African Americans. His writing stye, it deals with a lot of social themes and economic themes,” she said.
“Jitney” ran from Sept. 30 through Oct. 23. The theatre’s season runs from September through May and will include a total of four productions.