July 8 - 17, 2022
The play is set in 1947 at Yankee Stadium where the Yankees are playing the Brooklyn Dodgers and the newest member of the Dodgers is the first African American to play major league baseball: Jackie Robinson. During the course of the play, Jackie bats, gets on base and steals bases with the goal of stealing home. While playing, he fields questions from the press and recalls flashbacks from his life.
Meet the Cast
Collin Roach (Jackie Robinson) Collin Roach, a 20 year old on the rise actor is returning to the stage to portray Jackie Robinson. Collin, who is no stranger to Dunbar, is returning to his 4th show with the company, after staring in a HULU film just weeks prior. The Freehold native is excited to make his return to stage after a year of being in front of the camera for numerous TV & Film roles.
Bellamy Shivers (Various Roles) Bellamy Shivers is extremely excited to be casted in the Center Players Signature Series Presentation of “Jackie Robinson Steals Home”, directed by Darrell Lawrence Willis, Sr. Bellamy is best known for his role of “Sargent Vernon C. Waters“ in the Pulitzer Award winning play “A Soldiers’ Play” at the Algonquin Theater, Manasquan, NJ and he recently portrayed Oz/Professor Marvel in the Phoenix Production of The Wizard of Oz at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, NJ. Favorite credits include a performance in “Camp Logan” as “Gweeley” at the Middletown Arts Center, Middletown, NJ; “A Raisin in the Sun” as “Bobo” at the Algonquin Theater; and two performances at Brookdale Community College, Lincroft, NJ. Bellamy first appeared on the Brookdale stage as Turkel in “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest” and then as Sky Masterson in “Guys and Dolls”. Bellamy is retired from Verizon after over 30 years of service and is now a private communications consultant. He is the Chairman of the Deacons’ Ministry at First Baptist Church in Belmar, NJ; and lives in Neptune, NJ with his wife of over 40 years. Bellamy would like to express his sincere thanks to his family and friends for their continued love and support.
Tavea Sanderson (Various Roles) is delighted to be on stage with a fantastic cast sharing the character shaping moments in the life of Jackie Robinson as both Jackie’s mother and wife, Rachel Robinson. It’s been a wonderful experience at Center Players. The director and behind the scenes crew have been phenomenal and made this show a true reality.
Previously she served as the stage manager of Minstrel Show. When she’s not performing on stage Tavea works in marketing and content creation for nonprofit organizations and small businesses. And, co-owns a seasonal gift stationery business, Culture Paper Co., where she gets to express her love of art and design. Most of all she enjoys spending time with her husband and 2 sons. Thank you to Jerett for your unwavering love and support. To Jerett Jr. and Charlie who are the best parts of me. To Lauren, we did a thing. To my dear friends and family who’s support means the world. And, to Darrell for the opportunity!
Kristina McKinney (Various Roles) previously played Helen in Shakespear’s Lost Masterpiece, 2019, Graduated from Rutgers School of Arts and Sciences. Single mother of 3, is excited to bring you a work of art and history. Remembering Jackie Robinson in his raw form, and being in a part of history we rarely get to see. Kristina’s characters depict real oppression as the child, real segregation as the daughter of a bigot, and real change as reporter #2.
Vince Fay (Various Roles) is happy to once again be back at Center Playhouse. A Kean graduate, Vince was last seen onstage here in Neil Simon’s California Suite. Vince also appeared on this stage in Same Time Next Year, The Boys Next Door, The Dinner Party, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, and a number of staged script readings. Over at First Avenue Playhouse in Atlantic Highlands he was last in Squirrell Lake, as well as Balloon Shot, Bad Medicine and Dealer’s Choice. Enjoy the show!
Darrell Lawrence Willis, Sr. (Director) Mr. Willis holds a B.A. in Communications and Theatre Arts from Susquehanna University in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania and a M.A. in Theatre Studies from Montclair State University in Upper Montclair, New Jersey. He has also studied extensively at Rutgers University (Mason Gross School of the Arts) with Harold Scott, Avery Brooks, William Esper, and Glenda Dickerson. Mr. Willis is a retired Adjunct Professor of Theatre Arts, at Brookdale Community College, Essex County College, and Ocean County College.
Recent producing, directing and acting credits include: Minstrel Show, Marisol, Black Nativity, Radio Golf, A Raisin in the Sun, A Lesson Before Dying, Jitney, The Meeting, Seven Guitars, Dreamgirls, Murder in the Cathedral, Crimes of the Heart, Home, Butterfly Confessions, Green Honey Love, A soldier’s Play, Hamlet, Macbeth, Othello, The Amen Corner, The Obama Effect, Hambone, Two Trains Running, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Oklahoma, Cyrano, DeBergerac, Romeo and Juliet, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, and For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide When the Rainbow is Enuf. Darrell directed NJCT award winning original play, Shakespeare’s Lost Masterpiece at Center Players.