championship season

That Championship Season

by Jason Miller – directed by Laura Jones

February 4 – March 5, 2017

Settle in your seat for a reunion of sorts.  Set in the 1970s, a group of emotionally bankrupt and disillusioned men are re-living their glory days at a get-together with their terminally ill high school basketball coach.   Each man comes to the table with a big personality and equally big problems in his life.  This production exposes dark secrets and takes you into the conflict that has plagued them for 25 years and thus hindered their potential today as they live through the past.

A good story that’s well told and you don’t have to be a sports fan to enjoy the gaffes, the emotion and the turmoil they all feel about moving beyond the past and learning to live in the here and now.
***This show contains adult language. Recommended age 15+

“…a drama of searing intensity, agonized compassion and consummate craftsmanship”


1972 winner of the Pulitzer Prize, the Tony Award, and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award as best play of the season.

Director's Notes
“Hearts must change. For blacks and other minorities, it means tying our own
struggles for justice to the challenge that a lot of people in this country face –
the refugee, the immigrant, the rural poor, the transgender American – and also
the middle-aged white man who from the outside may seem like he’s got all the
advantages, but who’s seen his world upended by economic, cultural, and
technological change.”
President Obama’s Farewell Address in Chicago
January 10, 2017
Just as the middle-aged white men in Jason Miller’s That Championship Season were
their fathers’ sons, they also could have been the fathers of today’s middle-aged white men…
particularly those who are recoiling from having their small-town, seemingly moral, middle classworld
upended by change.
Now I cannot say that directing this play has changed my heart or my mind, yet, by
keeping an open mind, my heart has been opened to the very real people behind these all-too-
familiarly funny male stereotypes: the self-absorbed home-grown politician, the self-serving
businessman, the self-conscious martyr/family man and his self-effacing godforsaken drunken
brother. And then there’s the Coach… facing his own mortality and desperately struggling to
protect and defend his own legacy as an inspiring leader and trusted mentor of young men.
In short, as a man of character.
Welcome to an evening of nostalgia with long-standing members of the good ole boys
club. Come celebrate their wins, meditate with them on their losses, and maybe even (OMG)
empathize once or twice with their self-inflicted fates.
Laura Jones
Q & A with the Director
What drew you to want to direct That Championship Season?

I am drawn to well-written character studies and actor-centered ensemble pieces.  Jason Miller’s play filled that bill.

What have been the highlights of rehearsing this play?

The commitment of the cast to faithfully telling the story, in spite of being asked to play roles that warrant adjectives such as “despicable,” “disgraceful,” and yes, “deplorable.”

And likewise, the devotion of the Bas Bleu staff and crew members to authenticity as well as their attention to realistic detail in rendering a world for our play.

Has anything surprised you?

I have been most surprised by the contemporary resonances and echoes the play has sounded.

Talk about the challenges of presenting a play set 40 years ago that won both the Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award.

Plays win prestigious awards for a reason no matter the season.  The challenge always is to unpack what that reason was and unravel the threads of circumstances that made that reason matter to the characters.

What do you hope people take away from this play?

An appreciation for the fact that everyone feels discriminated against at some time or other.  Some more often than others, but no one is exempt.

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