AND

PRESENT

STEVEN DIETZ
Adapted from the book by

by

DAN GUTMAN
A GREETING FROM ARTISTIC DIRECTOR, CAROL NORTH
Metro Theater Company and Edison are pleased to join forces once again to bring
great theater to St. Louis audiences. Our first collaborative venture in 2007 was the U.S. Premiere of Hana’s Suitcase by Emil Sher. Two years later, we produced Harper Lee’s monumental To Kill a Mockingbird. In 2011 we brought you Lois Lowry’s The Giver, adapted for the stage so beautifully by Eric Coble.
In this 40th anniversary season for both Metro Theater Company and Edison we invite you to celebrate with us as we bring you a story steeped in real history and laced with wonderfully magical fiction. Dan Gutman’s novel, now adapted for the stage by Steven Dietz, is an exciting story about America’s favorite pastime, a man of enormous courage and a kid who’s struggling to make sense of his life. We hope you find this Production Guide useful. Tell us about the great conversations you have with your
Jeremy Keltner

IN THIS GUIDE YOU’LL FIND
> Insight into the production > Discussion ideas to stimulate interest and reflection > Classroom activities linked to Grade Level Expectations for core subjects > Resources for further inquiry

children and your students. What sparked especially meaningful learning or surprising connections? We want to hear your stories and share them with others. Letters, e-mail, phone calls, tweets, and Facebook postings—we love them all!

www.metroplays.org
Reginald Pierre plays Jackie Robinson in Metro Theater Company’s production.

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JACKIE ROBINSON’S WORLD
The Jim Crow laws were federal, state and local laws in the United States (1876-1965) that mandated racial segregation in all public facilities.

SEGREGATION is the act of isolating a race or class from the rest of the population.
Supposedly, these laws created a “separate but equal” experience for African Americans. were inferior to those provided for the sole use of white Americans.
Elliot Erwitt, 1950

But in reality, these laws led to facilities that

EXAMPLES OF JIM CROW LAWS
Restaurants: All persons licensed to conduct a restaurant shall serve either white people exclusively or colored people exclusively and shall not sell to the two races within the same room or serve the two races anywhere under the same license. (Georgia) Restrooms: Every employer of white or negro males shall provide for such white or negro males reasonably accessible and separate toilet facilities. (Alabama) Education: Separate schools shall be maintained for the children of the white and colored races. (Mississippi) Libraries: The state librarian is directed to fit up and maintain a separate place for the use of the colored people who may come to the library for the purpose of reading books or periodicals. (North Carolina)

“Separate but equal” made its way onto the baseball field as well. The Negro Leagues were an important institution in African-American culture. When Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in baseball by joining the Brooklyn Dodgers, the Negro League teams quickly dissolved. Jackie Robinson didn’t change baseball on his own. Branch Rickey, the general manager of the Brooklyn Dodgers, saw Jackie’s enormous potential— both as an athlete and a man of character—and saw the opportunity to make a big move. From a business perspective, Rickey had a lot at stake. When he signed Jackie Robinson to play for the Brooklyn Dodgers, Rickey exacted a promise from Jackie that no matter what kind of abuse he suffered—on or off the field—Jackie would not fight back. After Jackie joined the Major Leagues, he took verbal abuse from teammates and players on other teams. He received hate mail and death threats from the public. In the face of all this, Jackie could not fight back. He was held to a different standard, and everyone was watching him. After establishing himself as one of the most outstanding players in baseball history, Jackie broke his silence and became a vocal advocate for integration. He joined with other ballplayers in driving baseball to use its economic power to desegregate southern towns, hotels and ballparks.

CLASSROOM DISCUSSION:
Jackie Robinson felt like an outsider when he joined the Dodgers baseball team. Have you ever been in a situation that made you feel that way? How did you work through it?
MISSOURI COMMUNICATION ARTS GRADE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS L1B K-8 Develop and apply effective listening skills and strategies L2A K-8 Develop and apply effective speaking skills and strategies

DID YOU KNOW…
That the Negro Leagues Baseball Museum is right here in Missouri? Next time you’re in Kansas City, go check it out! www.nlbm.com

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“GIVE THEM SOMETHING TO TALK ABOUT” JACKIE ROBINSON’S LEGACY
“When Jackie took the field, something reminded us of our birthright to be free.” – Rev. Jesse Jackson “He led America by example. He reminded our people of what was right and he reminded them of what was wrong. I think it can be safely said today that Jackie Robinson made the United States a better nation.” – American League President Gene Budig
LOC, LC-DIG-ppmsc-00048


– Duke Snider

“Thinking about the things that happened, I don’t know any other ball player who could have done what he did. To be able to hit with everybody yelling at him. He had to block all that out, block out everything but this ball that is coming in at a hundred miles an hour. To do what he did has got to be the most tremendous thing I’ve ever seen in sports.” – Pee Wee Reese, Jackie’s teammate

“Back in the days when integration wasn’t fashionable, he underwent the trauma and humiliaa pilgrim walking the lonesome byways toward the high road of freedom. He was a sit-inner Freedom Rides.” – Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. before the sit-ins, a freedom rider before the tion and the loneliness which comes with being

“He knew he had to do well. He knew that the future of blacks in baseball depended on it. The pressure was enormous, overwhelming, and unbearable at times. I don’t know how he held up. I know I never could have.”

WHERE DID JACKIE ROBINSON PLAY IN 1947?
In 1947, the Brooklyn Dodgers called Ebbets Field home. This is where Joey Stoshack witnesses Jackie Robinson’s first game. Ebbets Field opened in 1913 and closed in 1957.

JACKIE ROBINSON’S CONNECTION TO ST. LOUIS

A group of St. Louis Cardinals said that they would rather go on

strike than play against the Dodgers if Jackie Robinson was in the lineup. The Cardinals’ own manager, Eddie Dyer, wanted to disassociate himself from the hateful attitudes and words of his players, and he made a point of wishing Jackie well the first time he saw him. Ford Frick, the president of the National League, also responded to the Cardinals’ threats to strike. He said, “I do not care if half the league strikes. Those who do will encounter quick retribution. All will be suspended and I do not care if it wrecks the national league for five years. This is the United States of America and one citizen has as much right to play as another.” Following Frick’s statement, four other black players were signed by major league teams in the 1947 season.


legendsrevealed.com

Photo source: schools.nyc.gov/schoolportals/17/k352/default.htm

In small groups, have students brainstorm a list of sounds one might hear at a ballpark. Use objects found in your classroom or house to create a soundscape. Don’t forget about the instrument you always have with you: your voice!
MISSOURI THEATRE GRADE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS: 1CPP 6-8 Design and use technical elements of theatre to represent time and place, establish character, and create environment Nope, that’s not Busch Stadium! This is Sportsman’s Park, where Jackie Robinson would have played against the Cardinals in 1947.

ACTIVITY IDEA!

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MAJOR EVENTS IN: > THE CIVIL RIGHTS MOVEMENT > THE LIFE OF JACKIE ROBINSON > BASEBALL HISTORY
1619 1789 1857
A year before the Mayflower, the first twenty African slaves are sold to settlers in Virginia as “indentured servants.” The Constitution is adopted. Slaves are counted as three fifths of a person for means of representation. A slave named Dred Scott sues for his freedom claiming that living on free soil liberates him. The Supreme Court rules against him, saying African-American people are regarded as “so far inferior…. that they had no rights which the white man was bound to respect.”

1861-1865 The Civil War divides the country over the legality of slavery.
William Cammeyer, known as “the father of the enclosed ballpark,” opens The Union Grounds in Brooklyn on the site of an ice skating rink.

1862 1869 1870
The 15th Amendment gives African Americans the right to vote.

Jackie Robinson is born in Georgia. Branch Rickey becomes president and general manager of the Brooklyn Dodger organization. The Cardinals beat the St. Louis Browns in the only all-St. Louis World Series. This Series was called the “Streetcar Series” after the mode of transport most used to travel to and from the ballpark. Branch Rickey signs Jackie Robinson to the Brooklyn Dodgers, breaking the color barrier in American baseball.

1919 1942

1944

The first Jim Crow segregation law is passed in Tennessee mandating the separation of African Americans from whites on trains, depots and wharves. The rest of the South follows this pattern. African Americans are banned from white hotels, barbershops, restaurants, theaters, and other public accommodations. By 1885, most southern states have laws requiring separate schools.

Segregation signs

1947

Anheuser-Busch, Inc. buys the St. Louis 1953 Cardinals, and the team’s Sportsman’s 1955 Park is renamed Busch Stadium. The Brooklyn Dodgers move to the west coast and became the Los Angeles Dodgers. Demolition of Brooklyn’s Ebbets Field begins, breaking the hearts of millions of fans. Jackie Robinson is inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame.

Rosa Parks refuses to give up her seat on a bus to a white man.

1958

Branch Rickey

1960
Rosa Parks

1962 1963
Martin Luther King, Jr. delivers his “I Have a Dream” speech at the March on Washington. Civil Rights Act allows greater protection of the right to vote for African Americans. The first indoor ballpark (The Astrodome) opens.
Martin Luther King, Jr

ACTIVITY IDEA! Allow students to choose a famous
person from the Civil Rights Movement, a legendary baseball player or an important figure from the time period you are currently studying. Have each student research this person and then give an oral report to the class on the person’s biggest accomplishments and contributions.
MISSOURI COMMUNICATION ARTS GRADE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS: L2A K-8 L3A K-8 Develop and apply effective speaking skills and strategies for various audiences and purposes Develop and apply skills and strategies to comprehend, analyze and evaluate nonfiction from a variety of cultures and times

1964

1965

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TRAVEL BACK IN TIME!
INVENTIONS IN 1947 LOTS OF FAMOUS PEOPLE WERE BORN IN 1947!
Elton John, musician Arnold Schwarzenegger, actor and politician Hilary Clinton, current Secretary of State
cedmagic.com

ROLLBACK PRICES: 1947
Get a load of these prices!
Talk about deep discounts… Average cost of a new house = $6,600 1 loaf of bread = 13¢ 1 gallon of gas = 15¢ Postage stamp = 3¢ Movie ticket = 15¢ Ticket to a Brooklyn Dodgers game = $1.25

Deepok Chopra, doctor and journalist Billy Crystal, actor and comedian Paula Dean, TV personality and chef
Transistor inventor photo

Richard Dreyfuss, actor Stephen King, author

parkcirclediscgolf.com

N IN 1947?

WHO WAS BOR

wired.com

HO

?

Polaroid camera

Opening Day Ticket

early television.org

Candyland

DO ANY OF THESE POPULAR 1947 GAMES LOOK FAMILIAR?

Television

Imagine it is the year 2075, and time travel has been invented. Have students create a travel brochure to advertise the year 2012 as a great year to visit. Make sure to include photos and travel information about the year’s major events, technology, food, daily life, arts, and popular culture.
MISSOURI COMMUNICATION ARTS GRADE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS: W2 K-8 Compose well-developed text W3 K-8 Write effectively in various forms and types of writing MISSOURI VISUAL ARTS GRADE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS: PP3C K-8 Communicate ideas about subject matter and themes in artworks created for various purposes
Monopoly

ACTIVITY IDEA!

Chutes and Ladders

5

Museum of the

City of New Yo

W

19

MU

47

rk

ED

CH

NT

DID
DID KID SH AV E?

IN

VE

TH

Lil Abner Frisbee from 1947

WA

S

ING

WH

AT

SC

OS T?

WH AT TO YS

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MEET THE MAJOR LEAGUERS BEHIND JACKIE AND ME
STATS
> National League Rookie of the Year in 1947 > 1949 batting average: 0.342 earned him National League MVP > Inducted into the Baseball Hall of Fame in 1962 FIRST JOB: enlisting in the U.S. Army FIRST BASEBALL TEAM: Kansas City Monarchs in the Negro Leagues OTHER SPORTS: track, basketball, football FAMILY: wife, Rachel; and three children, Jackie Jr., Sharon and David

2
DIETZ
STEVEN

ROBINSON

JACKIE

IN HIS OWN WORDS: “A life is not important except for the impact it has on other lives.”

1
DAN

HISTORY BECOMES A NOVEL
Dan Gutman’s book Jackie and Me is based on Jackie Robinson’s life. This means that Dan made some things up to make his story work. In addition to the time travel and Joey’s skin changing color, the order of the events in Dan’s book is different from how it happened in real life, and that’s okay! It’s the writer’s job to craft a good story for readers to enjoy.

STATS
HOMETOWN: Hoboken, New Jersey Played Little League in elementary school EDUCATION: Rutgers University, psychology major FIRST JOB: writing a video games magazine, Video Games Player. FAMILY: wife, Nina; and two children, Sam and Emma IN HIS OWN WORDS: “I discovered how incredibly rewarding it is to take a blank page and turn it into a WORLD. For the first time, I felt that I was doing something I was good at, something that was fun, creatively rewarding, and appreciated by an audience.”

THE NOVEL BECOMES A PLAY!
Playwright Steven Dietz read Gutman’s book and was immediately captivated by “the magic and responsibility of having history come to life” on stage.

STATS
NUMBER OF PLAYS WRITTEN: 30+ HOMETOWNS: Seattle, WA and Austin, TX In addition to writing plays, Steven also teaches directing and playwriting at the University of Texas at Austin. IN HIS OWN WORDS: “I try to never take for granted that my work does not vanish at day's end, but instead accumulates. I like the small steps that add up to great journeys.”

GUTMAN
AUTHOR

FROM SCRIPT TO STAGE!

PLAYWRIGHT

Once a play has been written, the director’s job is to work with the actors and designers to put the story “up on its feet” and bring it to life!

ACTIVITY IDEA!
Joe Stoshack and his dad value baseball cards a lot. Have students think (and maybe write) about a collection or a single object that is special to them personally. Pair students up; one is A, the other is B. Partner A has one minute to tell B everything they can about their special object. Partner A’s

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job is to give B a vivid mental picture of the object; B’s job is to listen closely. After one minute, B has thirty seconds to ask as many questions about the object as possible. A then has one minute to answer as many of the questions as possible. Switch roles and repeat the process.
MISSOURI COMMUNICATION ARTS GRADE LEVEL EXPECTATIONS: L1B K-8 Develop and apply effective listening skills and strategies

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AN INTERVIEW WITH PLAYRIGHT STEVEN DIETZ
Do you have a personal connection to the game of baseball?
My personal connection to this story is deeply rooted in my memories of my Dad, and playing Little League baseball, and the fact that I associate my love of the sport in so many ways with my love of him. We adopted our son from Ethiopia in 2006 and introduced him to baseball—which he loves. My Dad never lived to meet his grandson, but I can't help but think that baseball, in some way, has connected them across time and distance…and in some ways allowed them to meet each other in the same way that Joey is allowed to meet Jackie Robinson.

How did you discover Dan Gutman’s work, and what inspired you to bring this particular story to the stage?
I was given Dan’s first ”baseball card adventure,” Honus and Me, ... As a baseball fan, and as a parent, I responded to it immediately. It captures both the magic and the responsibilities of having history come to life. I adapted the play and enjoyed the process tremendously. After Dan saw a production of that adaptation, he offered me any of his other books to adapt. I chose Jackie and Me.

What is the most exciting part of being a playwright?
I find playwriting exciting in several ways. I'm so grateful for the way it allows me to travel out of my known world, my comfort zone, my personal history, and into the lives of other people and other times. This has broadened my thinking and hopefully deepened my view of this world we all share. I also find it extremely rewarding to work in a profession where I can make a little progress every day—some tangible words on a page, some tangible moments in rehearsal with my collaborators. As simple as this may sound, I try to never take for granted that my work does not vanish at day’s end, but instead accumulates. I like the small steps that add up to great journeys.

AN INTERVIEW WITH DIRECTOR TIM OCEL
and the black community actually lived it. Regardless of race, it is impossible not to lean in and wonder what Joey is going to do. To step into the shoes of others is an amazing, frightening, and often liberating event, and coincidentally, it's what the theater does best. Theater enables actors to experience others by stepping into their skins, their lives, and in the audience we get to watch them live it. We care because it's our lives, our history, our possibility being told. I like a story that is filled with possibility.

What do you hope audience members will take away from this production?
That's always a tricky question because it assumes that an audience has a collective point-of-view while watching a play, and they don't. At the same time, audiences do have a collective experience when watching a play together—at least I hope they do. I hope that encountering together what this play determines to be right and wrong and identifying with that determination, will somehow bind us as a community for a brief period of time and possibly longer. I want all of us to know, collectively, that Joey is a better human being for his experience with Jackie. I want us to understand the injustices Jackie and Rachel Robinson were standing up to when they said yes to Branch Rickey, and the valor they showed when they did so. I want us to know that a few courageous individuals can change the world for the better when they believe that all men are created equal.

OCEL
DIRECTOR

TIM

What are some of the challenges that this play presents for a director?
The play jumps time periods from 2012 to 1947 and back again. It also has many locations and a large cast of characters. So it takes some planning to stage a physical production (sets, costumes, lights, sound) that can do all the things that need to be accomplished. All of that is challenging and takes coordination. But I'm not so intimidated about putting baseball onstage because in the theater anything is possible!

What first grabbed your attention about the play, Jackie and Me? What are you most excited about?
I was hooked when our hero, 12-year-old white kid Joey Stoshack, having travelled back in time to meet Jackie Robinson, discovers that he is now black and will experience life in 1947 as Jackie Robinson

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“THIS IS WHY WE STUDY SCIENCE!”
Joey Stoshack watches Jackie Robinson steal home base, even though it should be scientifically impossible. Understanding baseball is not the only reason for studying science, but along with math, it can help us know what’s going on in the game.

WHY DOESN’T THE BEST TEAM HAVE THE BEST RECORD?
The 162 games in each season aren’t enough to ensure that the best team in the league ends the season with the best record. For that to happen, the 16 teams in the National League would have to play 256 games per season. Playing fewer games, of course, gives underdogs more of a chance to reach the playoffs and sometimes win the World Series!

IS IT FASTER TO SLIDE INTO HOME BASE HEAD FIRST OR FEET FIRST?
According to David Peters, a physicist at Washington University in St. Louis, sliding into home plate head first has the edge. Arms weigh less than legs, so as the body rotates, the player’s arms can reach farther extra push. Even though a head-first slide is faster, many players still prefer a foot first slide. They can pop up easier, instead of sliding by the bag.
UCLA.edu

than the legs. The player’s feet also give an

WHY DO HITTERS SWING AT SO FEW PITCHES?
Players will watch a pitch or two pass over home plate and into the catcher’s mitt. The batter allows the ball to go by so he can calibrate it and figure out if the pitch is traveling at the speed and in the pattern he anticipated. The next time the same type of pitch is thrown, the batter now has an advantage and just may knock it out to the cheap seats.

baseball basics:

TEST YOUR REACTION TIME!
A baseball travels about 55 feet from the pitcher’s mound to the batter, and it only takes the baseball four tenths of a second to reach home plate! The batter has even less time to decide whether or not to swing at the pitch. Test your reaction time: www.exploratorium. edu/baseball/reactiontime.html

DID YOU KNOW…
Most batters do not see the ball hit the bat. The human eye can’t rotate fast enough to keep up with the velocity of the angular velocity of the baseball on the eye!

CRUNCH THE BASEBALL NUMBERS!
BATTING AVERAGE:
How often the player successfully hits the ball at bat. A 0.300 hitter is a traditional standard of excellence in batting.

EARNED RUN AVERAGE (ERA):
The average number of earned runs a pitcher gives up over the course of a nine-inning game of baseball.

CRUNCH THE NUMBERS! To find the batting average, divide the number of base hits by the total number of times at bat.
If David Freese had 400 at bats and has 157 hits, what is his batting average?

CRUNCH THE NUMBERS! Multiply the total
number of earned runs by nine, and divide the results by the total innings pitched. If Chris Carpenter allows 3 earned runs in 8 innings, what is the ERA?

WIN-LOSS PERCENTAGE:
The percentage of wins a team has had in a season.
ssfu.edu

CRUNCH THE NUMBERS! Divide the number of games won by the total number of games played.
If the Cardinals win 20 out of their first 33 games, what is their win-loss percentage?

MORE BASEBALL LESSON PLANS!
http://www.pbs.org/teachers/mathline/lessonplans/pdf/msmp/fantasybaseball.pdf http://artsedge.kennedy-center.org/educators/lessons/grade-3-4/All_Around_The_Baseball_Field.aspx

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MEMORABILIA

Images from private collection of Dan Rosen, St. Louis, Missouri.

RESOURCES FOR PARENTS AND EDUCATORS:
FOR EARLY READERS:
Jackie Robinson and the Big Game (Ready-to-Read, Level 2) by Dan Gutman A Picture Book of Jackie Robinson by David A. Adler, illustrated by Robert Casilla

FOR PARENTS AND EDUCATORS:
I Never Had it Made: An Autobiography of Jackie Robinson A Level Playing Field: African American Athletes and the Republic of Sports by Gerald L. Early
Interactive timeline of Black History milestones http://www.history.com/topics/jackie-robinson/ interactives/black-history-timeline How Baseball Works: http://entertainment.howstuffworks.com/ baseball.htm The Baseball Hall of Fame: http://baseballhall.org/ Jackie Robinson’s letter to President Eisenhower (1958): http://www.archives.gov/exhibits/featured_ documents/jackie_robinson_letter/ Baseball Scorecard & Instructions: http://www.baseballscorecard.com/scorecard.htm

AUDIO AND VISUAL:
FILM Baseball: A Film by Ken Burns (PBS) The Jackie Robinson Story (featuring Jackie Robinson!) AUDIO Jackie Robinson speaks about racial taunts he experienced during his career: http://www.history.com/topics/jackie-robinson/ audio#robinson-on-racial-taunts Jackie Robinson steals home http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6XY-XshGhMU VIDEO Jackie Robinson’s first career appearance at Wrigley Field http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXvp8q0FTFI INTERACTIVE DISTANCE LEARNING Check out programming on HEC-TV Live! http://www.hectv.org

FOR ELEMENTARY AND MIDDLE SCHOOL READERS:
More baseball card adventures from Dan Gutman: — Honus and Me — Roberto and Me — Babe and Me — Ted and Me — Ray and Me And MANY more!

Who Was Jackie Robinson? by Gail Herman, Nancy Harrison and John O’Brien Stealing Home: The Story of Jackie Robinson (Scholastic Biography) by Barry Denenberg Promises to Keep: How Jackie Robinson Changed America by Sharon Robinson
Jackie’s Nine: Jackie Robinson’s Values to Live By by Sharon Robinson

METRO THEATER COMPANY’S MISSION
Inspired by the intelligence and emotional wisdom of young people, we create professional theater, foster inclusive community and nurture meaningful learning through the arts.

VISIT OUR WEBSITE AT: www.metroplays.org OR WRITE TO: Metro Theater Company
3311 Washington Avenue St. Louis, MO 63103 p: 314.932.7414 f: 314.932.7434

W H I TA K E R

F O U N D A T I O N

Funding for Jackie and Me is made possible in part by the late Fred Saigh, who through his foundation is helping area children have a better opportunity to achieve their goals. © Metro Theater Company 2012 Content for this Guide was compiled and written by Meredyth Pederson, Metro Theater Company’s 2011-12 Teaching Artist Fellow. Graphic Design by Britni Eggers.

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