The Children's Theatre Company, 2400 3rd Ave. S, Minneapolis, provided an opportunity to educate while being entertained in "Jackie and Me," a stage play based on the book by Dun Gutman. The main character, Joey Stoshack (Brandon Brooks), is a determined young boy with the special power to travel through time by holding onto baseball cards. When his teacher gives the class an assignment to write a report on a legendary African-American, Joey naturally thinks of the great Jackie Robinson (Ansa Akyea).
Using his unique powers he travels to New York City in the year 1947 to meet the legendary Robinson. During his adventure back in time, Joey experiences segregation and racism first hand, as his "powers" transformed Joey, a white child, into an African-American boy.
Not only did this play highlight moments in sports that helped shape American history, but it also delivered a message of bravery and determination. "Jackie and Me" is sure to ignite healthy conversation among families about topics such as prejudice, bullying and single parent households. Filled with energy, the main characters played by Brooks and Akyea, displayed a heartfelt chemistry that kept the attention of even the youngest children. "Jackie and Me," I'm positive, engaged both young and old patrons and provided a framework for helping families formulate their beliefs of equality in a non-threatening way.
"Jackie and Me" recently concluded its run at the Children's Theatre. For more information on future productions, visit www.childrenstheatre.org.