The percussive drama of THE ROYALE closes The Rep’s Studio Season

Monday | Feb. 20, 2017

The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis concludes its 2016-2017 Studio Theatre season with The Royale by Marco Ramirez, directed by Stuart Carden.

A boxing drama in which bouts are staged as bursts of musical rhythm, this fresh piece runs March 8 – 26 in the Emerson Studio Theatre of the Loretto-Hilton Center for the Performing Arts.

Rising black prizefighter Jay “The Sport” Jackson dominates his opponents, but the harsh social realities of the early 1900s force him to fight twice as hard to earn recognition outside of the ring. Loosely based on iconic fighter Jack Johnson, The Royale brings us ringside to one man’s quest for victory against all odds.

In addition to his award-winning theatrical works, playwright Ramirez has written for TV shows such as Orange Is the New Black, Daredevil and Sons of Anarchy. He's currently a co-showrunner on Netflix's Marvel superhero series, The Defenders.

The cast is filled with Rep debuts, starting with Akron Lanier Watson as Jackson. Watson most recently appeared in the ensemble for the Broadway revival of The Color Purple. Samuel Ray Gates appears as Jackson’s trainer, Wynton. The rest of the cast includes Lance Baker (Max), Bernard Gilbert (Fish), Bria Walker (Nina) and Webster University students Maalik Shakoor and Jarris Williams (ensemble).

Director Carden is a veteran of The Rep’s Studio and Off-Ramp series. He most recently directed 2011’s Circle Mirror Transformation, which earned him a Kevin Kline Award nomination. Brian Sidney Bembridge (Race, 2012) handles both scenic and lighting design. Christine Pascual (costume designer), Mikhail Fiksel (sound designer) and Stephanie Paul (body percussion and choreographer) round out the team.

Curtain times are Tuesdays at 7 pm; Wednesdays—Fridays at 8 pm; Saturday matinees at 4 pm; selected Saturday nights at 8 pm; Sunday matinees at 2 pm; and Sunday evenings at 7 pm.

Tickets are $43.50 (previews), $52 (Tuesdays-Thursdays and Sundays) and $67.50 (Fridays and Saturdays). They are available at The Rep Box Office, located inside the Loretto-Hilton Center, by phone at (314) 968-4925 and online at

The Loretto-Hilton Center is located at 130 Edgar Road (on the campus of Webster University).

For additional information about The Rep’s production of The Royale, including a guide introducing the characters, plot and background on the play, photos related to the production; and more, visit the show's homepage below: