5 & Dime Theatre Produces Al Letson Original at MOSH

April 18, 2015 3 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

"John Coffey Refuses to Save the World" a new play by Al Letson will have its World Premier here in Jacksonville at the Museum of Science and History. The noted NPR personality, National Slam contender, Tedx Presenter, author and playwright will see his play produced by the ever exciting 5 & Dime Theatre Company. In this all original piece, Letson explores the concept of the 'magical negro' in literature and film, along with some hilarious commentary and special effects magic courtesy of the Planetarium facilities. DO NOT MISS this new work by one of Jville's finest creative minds.


The 5 & Dime continues to bring new, exciting work to Jacksonville’s Urban Core.  We are pleased to present an original play from a local artist-turned national public figure. This provocative, funny, and moving play presented at MOSH.
John Coffey (the character from the movie The Green Mile) sits in the waiting room with his friends Bagger Vance (The Legend of Bagger Vance), Mother Abigail (The Stand) and god (From Bruce Almighty and Evan Almighty). The small group patiently waits for someone to watch their movies so they can go off to work. A new character, Legba, a shady con-man, or saintly gentleman (depending on your point of view)( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Papa_Legba), joins the room with answers and a lot of questions.

He tells the characters they are in the Room of Magical Negroes! A Purgatory of a sorts for black fictitious characters waiting to be released into the world. Legba wonders aloud why are they in this room in the first place? What is their purpose in life? Why can’t they use their magical powers for themselves? These questions begin to eat away at John Coffey as he is ordered to report to The Green Mile. In a fit of defiance John refuses to go and thus upsets the balance of the universe. Every story has its place, make believe or true, and if one story doesn’t play its part, all of creation is in jeopardy.

The play features some of the best local talent we see on the Jacksonville stage, with Rita Churchwell in the role of Mother Abigail, Brooks Anne Meierdierk as Clerk, Larry Knight as the tormented John Coffey, David Girard in the role of Legba, Bill Ratliff as Stephen King, Steven Anderson Jr portraying Bagger Vance, and Eugene Lindsey as God with a little G. This ensemble is directed by Michelle Simkulet. The combined experiences of this A-List Jacksonville cast includes radio, film, television, and award winning stage performances.
The 5 & Dime is pleased to present this original work at MOSH, in Jacksonville’s Urban Core. MOSH strongly believes in connecting the people of Jacksonville and those in the surrounding communities to the art and culture that is happening in our city. One way to make this happen is collaborating with other like-minded organizations. MOSH is proud to be working with The 5 & Dime on the thought provoking work, “John Coffey Refuses To Save The World,” by author Al Letson.