Arts & Culture

'Black & 25 in America' to Open UK Theatre and Dance Season

photo of UK Department of Theatre and Dance's web banner for "Black & 25 in America"
UK theatre alumnus Jeremy Gillett's "Black & 25 in America" will open the program's 2019-20 season Sept. 13-14.

LEXINGTON, Ky. (Sept. 4, 2018) — The University of Kentucky’s Department of Theatre and Dance will open its season with “Black & 25 In America,” a one-man show written, directed and performed by 2010 theatre alumnus Jeremy Gillett Sept. 13-14.  

The one-man play explores the experience of being a young, black adult in today’s America. Winner of the coveted Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival’s Irene Ryan Acting Award, playwright Gillett embodies multiple characters going through a diverse range of experiences. From Big Man, the high school football star trying to escape a life of poverty and crime, to Marcy, a biracial woman who struggles to navigate two identities, and Darron, a closeted gay man from a deeply religious family, Gillett’s characters explore issues of race, class, gender and identity. Before “Black-ish,” “This Is Us” or “The Chi” — Gillett was developing his story as an theatre major at UK and returns home to Lexington to share his voice with the audiences who first inspired him.  

“Black & 25 in America” will be presented 7:30 Friday and Saturday, Sept. 13 and 14, at the Guignol Theatre, located in the UK Fine Arts Building at 465 Rose St.. Tickets are $10 for students and $15 for the general public. Tickets may be purchased through the Singletary Center ticket office by phone at 859-257-4929, online at or in person.

The Department of Theatre and Dance, part of UK College of Fine Arts, is an accredited institutional member of the National Association of Schools of Theatre (NAST). Students in the Department of Theatre and Dance get hands-on training and one-on-one mentorship from professional faculty and renowned guest artists in acting, directing, playwriting, theatrical design and technology. From mainstage productions to student-produced shows, students have plenty of opportunities to participate on stage or backstage. Special programs include a musical theatre certificate, education abroad, as well as a thriving dance program that emphasizes technique, composition, performance and production. 

The University of Kentucky is increasingly the first choice for students, faculty and staff to pursue their passions and their professional goals. In the last two years, Forbes has named UK among the best employers for diversity and INSIGHT into Diversity recognized us as a Diversity Champion two years running. UK is ranked among the top 30 campuses in the nation for LGBTQ* inclusion and safety. The Chronicle of Higher Education judged us a “Great College to Work for," and UK is among only 22 universities in the country on Forbes' list of "America's Best Employers."  We are ranked among the top 10 percent of public institutions for research expenditures — a tangible symbol of our breadth and depth as a university focused on discovery that changes lives and communities. And our patients know and appreciate the fact that UK HealthCare has been named the state’s top hospital for three straight years. Accolades and honors are great. But they are more important for what they represent: the idea that creating a community of belonging and commitment to excellence is how we honor our mission to be not simply the University of Kentucky, but the University for Kentucky.