‘Jitney’ entertains, teaches life lessons

“Jitney” is an inspiring and interesting play performed by the Essential Theatre. Set in the 1970s, “Jitney,” written by August Wilson, brought comedy, emotions and family issues common during that time to the 21st century. 

The Jitney car service was not just a job for the men who worked there, it was a service to the people. The residents within the black neighborhood looked up to them. 

They always had someone to call when they needed a helping hand, whether it was a ride to the mall or trip to the grocery store. But changing times threaten the livelihood of the Jitney service.  

The relationships among the Jitney workers and their customers played a major role in keeping the audience attentive. It was good that the situations displayed within the play were issues some people might actually face each day.

Everyone who stepped foot in the cab station shared a connection. From the phone calls to the walk-in customers, love was always in the air.

Most of all the play made viewers feel at home. The vibe between the audience and the actors helped the play move smoothly. The actors gave a show that should inspire many viewers to tell others about the experience.

The set design was very creative and reflective of the time period. The car station in the set was very old and had a rusty feel to it, adding authenticity to the play. From the old phones to the worn couch, the setting helped make the play interesting.

Although the setting did not change throughout the whole play, each scene was very intriguing.

The accents the actors spoke with were well-learned and brought humor to the play – which in the end was the only thing that held the audience’s attention.

The audience seemed to be intrigued by the play and its delivery and probably took away lessons that could be applied to their own lives.

However, the play start to get long-winded.

Although “Jitney” was set in the 1970s, issues that were present back then are true for today’s generation. The play obviously had a well-written script.

Members of the cast included Jamie Chase, Akeem Davis, Anthony Green Jr., James P. Hamilton, Fred Lee, Maurice Nance, D. Antwuan Roper, Danielle Thompson and Reggie Wilson.

The audience might be young males who feel life might be a struggle in years to come.