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Part of the August Wilson Festival

August Wilson's Jitney

  • Credits

    Written by August Wilson
    Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

  • Location

    Kreeger Theater

“Playful and poignant drama is a triumph”

— Guardian

“Joyfully intoxicating”

— New York Times

August Wilson’s Jitney opens Arena Stage’s season-long Festival celebrating the Pulitzer Prize-winning giant with Ruben Santiago-Hudson directing his 2017 Broadway production — recipient of the 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival of a Play. The dramatic story of a Pittsburgh jitney station, a symbol of stability, struggles against an oppressive lack of opportunity and unnerving neighborhood gentrification that threatens the way they live and work. The drivers resist powerful forces while coming to grips with their pasts to fulfill their own hopes and dreams for the future. Arena Stage’s presentation kicks off the National Tour of one of this great master’s masterpieces.

The production was produced on Broadway by Manhattan Theatre Club in association with Eric Falkenstein, Ron Simons, John Legend/Mike Jackson and Ken Wirth.

Jitney is generously sponsored by Dr. Donald Wallace Jones, Dr. Betty Jean Tolbert Jones and Tracey Tolbert Jones.

The August Wilson Festival is generously sponsored by AARP.

Jitney runs approximately two hours and 30 minutes with one 15-minute intermission.


























Set Designer


Costume Designer


Lighting Designer


Co-Sound Designer


Co-Sound Designer


Original Music


Fight Director


"Jitney" at Arena Stage
August Wilson's "Jitney" at Arena Stage
"Jitney" at Arena Stage
"In rehearsal" with August Wilson's "Jitney"
Go inside the rehearsal room for August Wilson's "Jitney"
Photo of Steven Anthony Jones (Becker) and Francois Battiste (Booster) by Joan Marcus.
Photo of Steven Anthony Jones (Becker) and Amari Cheatom (Youngblood) by Joan Marcus.
Photo Anthony Chisholm (Fielding), Francois Battiste (Booster), Harvy Blanks (Shealy) and Ray Anthony Thomas (Turnbo) by Joan Marcus.
Photo of Harvy Blanks (Shealy) and Amari Cheatom (Youngblood) by Joan Marcus.
Photo of Amari Cheatom (Youngblood) and Nija Okoro (Rena) by Joan Marcus.
Photo of Amari Cheatom (Youngblood), Harvy Blanks (Shealy) and Brian D. Coats (Philmore) by Joan Marcus.
The cast of 'Jitney'
The cast of 'Jitney'
Nija Okoro and Amari Cheatom from 'Jitney'

In The News

Metro Scene

Jitney actor Ray Anthony Thomas talks about being a Wilsonian

Metro Scene

Jitney actors Brian D. Coats and Nija Okoro describe Wilson's relatable characters

WETA Around Town

Jitney shines at Arena Stage

USA Today

August Wilson is having a (well-deserved) moment


Jitney Poses Old Questions to New Audiences


Francois Battiste chats about August Wilson's Jitney

Broadway World

August Wilson's Jitney extends at Arena Stage

CBS News Radio

Ruben Santiago-Hudson begins national tour of Jitney in DC

Radio Sputnik

August Wilson's Jitney Goes on National Tour


Harvy Blanks and Nija Okoro talk Jitney

On Tap Magazine

Tony Award-Winning Jitney Visits Arena Stage

Ashland Tidings

OSF Director Nataki Garrett Wins Arena Stage Directing Award

Washington Post

It’s a hard-knock life, but often a funny one, in August Wilson’s Jitney at Arena

Broadway World

Photo Flash: Arena Stage Celebrates Opening Night of Jitney

Good Morning Washington - WJLA

Tony Award winning Jitney makes DC first stop on National Tour

American Theatre Magazine

Ruben Santiago-Hudson Takes Jitney on the Road

DC Life Magazine

An Interview with Amari Cheatom of August Wilson's Jitney

The Georgetowner

Arena Stage’s Season of Wilson


Anthony Chisholm, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas Star in National Tour of Jitney

The Washington Informer

Arena Stage Kicks off National Tour of August Wilson’s Jitney

Broadway World

Photo Flash: Meet and greet with the company of Jitney at Arena Stage


Ruben Santiago-Hudson talks David Makes Man, August Wilson and Long Island Confidential

DC Metro Theater Arts

Ruben Santiago-Hudson on Directing August Wilson’s Jitney

DC Metro Theater Arts

Ray Anthony Thomas Discusses August Wilson and Playing Turnbo in Jitney at Arena Stage

DC Theatre Scene

After tours and a Tony, Keith Randolph Smith is back in August Wilson’s Jitney

Pittsburgh Post Gazette

National tour set for August Wilson's Tony-winning Jitney

Keith Randolph Smith & More to Reprise Broadway Performances in National Tour of Tony-Winning Jitney

Broadway World

Partial Casting Announced For August Wilson's Jitney National Tour


Anthony Chisholm, Keith Randolph Smith, Ray Anthony Thomas, More Set for National Tour of Jitney


August Wilson's Jitney Announces Casting for National Tour

August Wilson's Jitney Wins the 2017 Tony Award for Best Play Revival


Ruben Santiago-Hudson On His August Wilson Passion Project, Jitney

New York Times

August Wilson’s Jitney Magnifies Marginalized Souls


How August Wilson Made Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Career

Accessible Performances

Closed Captioning
GalaPro Begins Friday, September 20. Learn more about Gala Pro

Open Captioning
Thursday, October 3 at 8 p.m.

Audio Described
Saturday, September 28 at 2 p.m.


Post-Show Discussions
Tuesday, October 1 at 12 p.m.
Wednesday, October 2 at 12 p.m.
Wednesday, October 9 at 12 p.m.
Tuesday, October 15 at 7:30 p.m.

Thursday, October 17 at 8 p.m.
Special Guest: Paul Ellis, nephew of August Wilson and executive director of August Wilson House

Southwest Night
Sunday, September 29 at 7:30 p.m. Purchase

August Wilson Festival Events

Designers Panel: Building the World of August Wilson
September 16, 2019 from 7-8:30 p.m., with dessert reception to follow
A panel featuring several designers who worked with Wilson and helped define the world of his plays, including David Gallo (Jitney scenic designer) and Kathryn Bostic (composer for the premiere production of Gem of the Ocean, among others), moderated by Constanza Romero Wilson, costume designer and collaborator of the playwright.

August Wilson, Here and Now: A conversation with Arena Stage’s Molly Smith and Ford’s Theatre’s Paul Tetreault
September 25, 2019 from 6:30-7:15 p.m.
Join us in the Molly Smith Study before the evening performance of August Wilson’s Jitney for a discussion on the challenges, opportunities, and necessity of producing the work of August Wilson in Washington, D.C., in 2019. Arena Stage Artistic Director, Molly Smith, and Ford’s Theatre Director, Paul Tetreault, will be joined on the panel by Dr. Sandra Shannon, Howard University Professor Emerita and Founder & President of the August Wilson society, and Riley Temple, scholar and theologian. Jitney runs at Arena Stage until Sunday, October 20, and Fences opens at Ford’s Theatre Friday, September 27, until Sunday, October 27.

Writers Panel: On the Shoulders of Giants — August Wilson’s Dramatic Legacy
September 28, 2019 from 5:30-7 p.m.
A panel featuring contemporary playwrights inspired by Wilson and his work, including librettist Kirsten Childs (Bella: An American Tall Tale) poet-playwright Marcus Gardley (Arena’s Every Tongue Confess) and hip-hop theater pioneer Will Power (The Seven; Fetch Clay, Make Man).

Pre-Show Surround Discussion: Gentrification in Washington, D.C. (in partnership with the August Wilson Society)
October 16, 2019 from 6-7 p.m.
Inspired by the story of Jitney, a panel of local activists and experts will discuss the history and current status of gentrification in Washington, D.C., including Mignotae Kebede, Tony Lewis Jr, Brian McCabe, and Ronald Moten. Dr. Sandra Shannon of the August Wilson Society will moderate the discussion.

Post-Show Discussion with Paul Ellis, Wilson's nephew and Executive Director of August Wilson House
October 17, 2019 following the 8 p.m. performance of Jitney
Special Guest: Paul Ellis, nephew of August Wilson and executive director of August Wilson House

Women of Wilson Panel
April 25, 2020 from 5:30-7 p.m., with light reception starting at 5 p.m.
A panel of women, including acclaimed singer and actress Ebony Jo-Ann; award-winning actress and author Tonya Pinkins; and award-winning actress, director and producer Michele Shay, who have originated and defined Wilson’s strong female characters. The panel will be moderated by Dr. Soyica Colbert, chair of the Department of Performing Arts, director of Theater and Performance Studies and a professor of African American Studies at Georgetown University. Colbert was a dramaturg for Arena’s 2018 production of Wilson’s Two Trains Running.

Post-Show Discussion with Paul Ellis, Wilson's nephew and Executive Director of August Wilson House
April 28, 2020 following the 12 p.m. performance of Seven Guitars
Special Guest: Paul Ellis, nephew of August Wilson and executive director of August Wilson House

Pre-Show Surround Discussion: African American Music and Society (in partnership with the August Wilson Society)
April 29, 2020 from 6-7 p.m.
Inspired by the story of Seven Guitars, a panel of local experts will discuss how music speaks to the historical moment of the play, a time where the African American community was advancing culturally while undergoing profound changes due to relocation, changing tastes, and changing circumstances.

August Wilson Documentary Film Screening
"American Masters" August Wilson: The Ground on Which I Stand
May 4, 2020 at 7 p.m., with dessert reception to follow
With unprecedented access to Wilson's theatrical archives, rarely seen interviews and new dramatic readings, filmmaker Sam Pollard explores the life and legacy of playwright August Wilson, the man some call America's Shakespeare, from his roots as an activist and poet to his indelible mark on Broadway. Film and theater luminaries including Viola Davis, Charles Dutton, Laurence Fishburne, James Earl Jones, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Phylicia Rashad share their stories of the career- and life-changing experience of bringing Wilson's rich theatrical voice to the stage.

Learn more about the August Wilson Festival

Program PDF

Jitney program