written and directed by
JACQUI BLUE and
Saturday February 5
7:00pm | Virtual Performance on Zoom + Youtube
Sunday February 6
2:00pm | In-Person Performance
About the Show
NO TURNING BACK is a live, two-actor performance highlighting the obstacles and triumphs of Black people using personal perspectives of Kentucky history from the 1860s to the 1970s. Every character places Black voices at the center of local history so that our audiences thoroughly understand our shared American narrative and Kentucky’s role in shaping a diverse nation.
Saturday February 5, 2022 | 7:00 PM
VIRTUAL Performance on Zoom and Youtube
Sunday February 6, 2022 | 2:00 PM
In-Person Performance at the Nancy Niles Sexton Theatre
Both performances will be followed by a Q&A with the cast moderated by Actors Theatre of Louisville’s Erica Denise
History themes includes the description of discrimination, segregation, and violence.
RECOMMENDED AUDIENCE AGE
We trust our audiences to make decisions about attending our plays, but we recommend ages and 9 and up for this production.
written and directed by
JACQUI BLUE and SHAQUILLE TOWNS
Videography + Sound Design
Jake Allen Miller
Keith is excited to be directing No Turning Back, the companion piece to Nation In Crisis, both of which he also wrote. Recently, he directed Monster of Mine, and Ghost with Stage One. Keith has also directed in Actors Theatre’s New Voices Festival and with the Derby City Playwrights Festival. This spring, Keith will direct Threads of Our History: Where We Intertwine, a collaboration with Actors Theatre and Justice Now. As an actor, Keith has appeared with Stage One in their productions of Tales of a Fourth Grade Nothing, and The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, and will be in their upcoming production Don’t Tell Me I Can’t Fly. Keith has also appeared in productions with Actors Theatre, Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, and Looking for Lilith. In addition to acting and directing, Keith is a teaching artist with the Kentucky Shakespeare Festival, Commonwealth Theatre Company, Actors Theatre, and Shakespeare Behind Bars.
Jacqui Blue is a Louisville based actor, singer/songwriter, and music therapist originally from Ann Arbor, Michigan. She was bit by the acting bug during her 1st role as Hamlet in her 4th grade Shakespeare production and was led to study opera performance at Grand Valley State University and appear in countless stage, tv and film productions across West Michigan and Louisville, KY over the years. Recently Jacqui starred in the one woman show Open with Pandora Productions and Nation In Crisis at Commonwealth Theatre Center, and was cast in The Humana Festivals’ 2020 musical Grace at Actors Theatre of Louisville. She also composed music and lyrics for Commonwealth Theatre Center’s children’s musical tour Rumpelstiltskin, in which she also starred. Other notable credits include Marian in The Bridges of Madison County and Michelle Morris in Dreamgirls at Centerstage, as well as the title character in The Alley Theater’s The Mystery of Edwin Drood. Jacqui holds a degree from the University of Louisville in Music Therapy, works in Outreach as an Artistic Associate for Commonwealth Theatre Center, and is a beloved local artist.
Shaquille is very excited to be making his Commonwealth Theater debut! He is a local actor and graduate from The American Musical and Dramatic Academy in New York where he studied acting and musical theater. After graduating, he has performed in many shows around the city from Kentucky Shakespeare, children’s theater at Derby Dinner Playhouse, and the Educational children’s theater tour “Acting Out”. Some other credits/favorite roles include Seaweed (Hairspray), Asagai (A Raisin in the Sun), C.C. White (Dreamgirls). Pharus Young (Choirboy) and Benvolio (Romeo and Juliet).
Recently, there has been a huge outcry against telling the true history of America, particularly the contribution Black people have had in creating our country. School boards are banning books, and censoring teachers. Politicians are using deliberate ignorance as a firebrand to get more voters. I watch as the story of what made, and continues to make, America what it is become silenced, and outlawed.
If the entire story of America is to be told, the people—all the people—of America must tell it, in defiance of those who would have us stop telling it. Parents should tell their children and grandchildren. Teachers should tell their students. Artists should write, dance, paint and sing the entire story of America.
I wrote NO TURNING BACK so the voices of historic Black Kentuckians will be heard and included in the many stories of what makes this country what it is. In telling their stories, I tell my own. And yours.
Paula O. Lockhart
IDEAS @ CTC is a group where students can learn from and engage with diverse communities through theatre. Created out of the need to broaden our ideas about the collective theatre experience, IDEAS will help students reimagine the way we see theatre from classical to contemporary using our own individual experiences for markers of success.