SOUTHERN MAN is a heartwarming tale full of laughter and tears that follows the adventures of World War II veteran, Jackson Elijah Taylor.
With homespun charm, Jackson regales us with humorous anecdotes as he describes his humble upbringing on a rustic North Carolina farm. One day while working the fields, Jackson gets an epiphany and realizes that farming is not for him. He puts his hoe down and hitchhikes forty three miles to the local army recruiting center to enlist. After being inducted into military life, Jackson meets his future wife Lilly at a memorable USO Dance. Before the ink is dry on their wedding certificate, Pearl Harbor is attacked by Japanese forces.
War is declared. Jackson and his battalion are immediately shipped off to England for training. They are then sent to the North African desert as part of Operation Torch. Facing Rommel’s elite Afrika Corps and insurmountable odds, Jackson and only twenty-nine other American soldiers manage to survive this horrific battle. They are captured and informed how fortunate they are to be POWs. On this particular day, Rommel needed prisoners for barter which was contrary to his usual custom of executing all enemy combatants.
Jackson endures a series of nightmarish journeys to and throughout Germany where he is imprisoned in various POW camps. Making friends with several engaging POWs, he learns how to survive the grueling conditions. Together they find diverse ways to fight the boredom and terror of captivity. For instance, they form a theatre company and a tumbling team. Despite Nazi oppression, they even manage to stage a talent night. One of their most unique diversions involves a mouse and a trial.
While in captivity, Jackson and the men in his barracks make daring forays to help save the starving Russians in the adjacent compound. Despite the inevitable loss of a beloved fellow soldier, Jackson perseveres.
His adventures after being liberated by the Russian army are no less astounding. He and two fellow American POWs literally bicycle to freedom through the devastated German countryside. After reuniting and recuperating with the American troops, Jackson takes an emotional train ride full of self-doubt, exploration and discovery back to North Carolina.
After a three year absence, Jackson poignantly reunites with his wife Lilly. His journey is a triumphant testament to the enduring human spirit.
About the Company: Midtown International Theatre Festival
The Midtown International Theatre Festival, now in its eleventh year, celebrates the diversity of theatre. The MITF welcomes theatrical storytelling across a broad spectrum of genres, forms, identities, cultures, and appetites. The MITF seeks to nurture these new ideas, perspectives, and stories on its stages, with an eye set on guiding these productions toward future success and longevity. The festival, traditionally held in summer, represents a fantastic, often paradoxical, adventurous and intriguing cross-section of the forefront of the theatre world. The MITF proudly hosts production companies from across the country and around the globe, uniting talent in one of the biggest theatre capitals in the world.
Mr. Chatterton created the MITF, a Midtown alternative to other theatre festivals, in 2000 as a way to present the finest off-off Broadway talent in convenience, comfort, and safety. In 2008, the Festival added two 99-seat theatres and inaugurated the Commercial Division for upwardly mobile shows with commercial ambitions. The MITF's artistic emphasis is on the script itself and therefore the Festival requests minimal production values.
Tuesday, 14th - 6:30pm
Sunday, 19th - 7pm
Friday, 24th - 7pm
Saturday, 25th - 3:15pm
Tuesday, 28th - 8:15pm
Sunday, 2nd - 12:30pm
Theater: Jewel Box Theater
Address: 312 W. 36th Street
New York, NY 10018
Cost:$18 Adults, $15 Students, Seniors, and Veterans
Buy Tickets Online or Call: OvationTix at 866-811-4111
Jeff originally hails from North Carolina and grew up with an athletic background playing football, baseball and running track throughout his formative years. He received a college scholarship and
After earning his B.A. in Mass Communication from Elon University, N.C., he decided against becoming a journalist and went back to hone his skills as an actor at the North Carolina School of the Arts. He currently lives in New York City, after having lived in Los Angeles for six and a half years.
His theatre credits are myriad, and he has enjoyed playing the role of Frankie in FOREVER PLAID in several productions and Curly in OKLAHOMA! with now wife Colleen Hawks. Off Broadway
Jeff did a three year tour of duty in the Broadway First National Tour of MISS SAIGON, understudying and performing many times as Chris, the romantic lead. Keep an eye out for him as George (A.K.A. “Oswaldo”) in the new film, THE DEVIANTS recently released on VHS and DVD.
Jeff was married on the lovely Kahala Beach in Oahu to the beautful and talented Colleen Hawks in May 2005. The wedding was witnessed by a few family members and the Honeymoon was in
Jeff's most recent credit's include "Marvin" in FALSETTOS at the Penobscot Theatre, ME; "Birdie" in BRING BACK BIRDIE at the Duplex, NYC, Closing Door Productions; and "Fred" in Scrooge and the Spirits at Emerge Theatre, NJ. "The Dancin' Kid" in JOHNNY GUITAR at the Golden Apple. "Bill Clinton" in HILARY and MONICA: the Winter of Her Discontent at Gloucester and The Midtown International Theatre Festival.*
*Jeff was nominated as best featured actor at The Midtown International Theatre Festival last year.