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‘Catalyst Sessions’ recap: David M. Jenkins

Bill DeYoung



If The Catalyst Sessions was a 1980s network TV series, some marketing genius might have tagged Friday’s installment a “Very Special Episode.”

For anyone with an interest in how theater responds to a crisis – in this case the current collective rage over the systemic racism in the United States – David M. Jenkins’ impassioned dialogue was, to use another old prime-time descriptor, “Must-See TV.”

Jobsite Theater’s executive and artistic director talked about the factors that led up to the production of a reading – on video – of Vincent Terrell Durham’s insightful play about race, Polar Bears, Black Boys and Prairie-Fringed Orchids.

Jenkins directed six well-known local actors, distanced six feet from one another, on the empty stage at Stageworks Theatre (a co-producer of the event).

The interview also touched on Jenkins’ feelings about his theater’s COVID-mandated shutdown, and what might (or might not) lie ahead in a scary and all-too-uncertain future.

Watch the reading of Polar Bears, Black Boys and Prairie-Fringed Orchids here.




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