Jackie Robinson story plays Holland stage before hitting the road

Well before the major motion picture 42, a local acting troupe was performing the historically significant tale of Major League Baseball’s first black player.

Jackie Robinson play

Performers with Mad River Theater Works present Everybody’s Hero: The Jackie Robinson Story during a 2014 run of the one-act play originally written by Jeff Hooper in 2005 with music by Bob Lucas. (PHOTO | MAD RIVER THEATER WORKS)

Everybody’s Hero: The Jackie Robinson Story, a Mad River Theater Works original written by former director Jeff Hooper in 2005, will return to the stage beginning with a show this Friday at the Holland Theatre. The production also includes an original score by Zanesfield musician Bob Lucas.

“I’m thrilled to have another chance to get this play singing because it tells an important story,” director Charlie Hewson of Los Angeles, who also directed the play’s most recent run in 2014, said. 

The story is the historic tale of Jackie Robinson and the trials he faced as he became the first black man to play professional baseball in America in the 1940s.

“This is probably my favorite role I’ve ever done. He is such an important person in America’s history,” lead actor Steven Rice said. “And I grew up in New York City right next to Jackie Robinson Park; so I’ve always known who he was.

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