The Ritz Theatre & Museum is the new home for Jacksonville’s longest running African-American production company, Stage Aurora Theatrical Company. Stage Aurora has produced over 100 theatrical productions including Pulitzer Prize Winners Driving Miss Daisy, To Kill A Mockingbird, Fences, and The Piano Lesson, and Tony Award Winners The Color Purple and A Raisin in the Sun. Other classics include Crowns, Miss Ever’s Boys, Mama I Want to Sing, Disney’s High School Musical, and a community favorite, Darryl Reuben Hall’s Frat House. The Company just wrapped a three week performance of The Wiz at the Alhambra Dinner Theatre and are preparing to produce Dreamgirls at Amelia Musical Playhouse.
Stage Aurora Theatrical Company was founded in 2001 under the leadership of Darryl Reuben Hall with a mission “to enlighten the mind by way of the Arts through the African-American experience.” Stage Aurora is a 501c3 nonprofit professional theatrical organization that brings the performing arts to underserved communities of the Northside of Jacksonville. The theatre company previously held plays at FSCJ Northside campus and also was housed at the Gateway Mall.
One of Stage Aurora’s debut performances at the Ritz Theatre will be a play written by Darryl Reuben Hall entitled The Dinner, based on the infamous dinner at the White House between Booker T. Washington and President Theodore Roosevelt.
For more information about Stage Aurora Theatrical Company, please visit www.stageaurora.org. Tickets will be available at the Tom Bush Family of Dealerships Box Offices located at the Jacksonville Veterans Memorial Arena or at the Ritz Theatre and Museum. Tickets are also available at www.ticketmaster.com or charge by phone at 1-800-745-3000.
The Ritz Theatre & Museum was constructed in 1999 on the site of the 1929 Ritz Theater movie house in Jacksonville’s historic African American LaVilla neighborhood. During LaVilla’s height of business and entertainment activity in the 1920s-1960s, LaVilla was known as the Harlem of the South. The mission of the Ritz Theatre and Museum is to “research, record, and preserve the material and artistic culture of African American life in Northeast Florida and the African Diaspora, and present in an educational or entertaining format, the many facets that make up the historical and cultural legacy of this community.”
For more information, call the Ritz at 807-2010 or visit: www.ritzjacksonville.com and www.jaxevents.com to see upcoming shows. The Ritz Theatre and Museum is located in downtown Jacksonville at 829 North Davis Street.