Delmar native Kirk Jackson, along with star New York Empires center fielder Darren Lemming, are in town for the Tony award-winning play \Take Me Out which premiered Jan. 24, at the Capital Repertory Theatre in downtown Albany.
Jackson, a veteran of the theater, teaches at Bennington College in Bennington, Vt.
"It's really exciting, said Jackson. "This is the first time I have directed at Capital Rep."
Lemming is not a real sports superstar, but is the central character of writer Richard Greenberg's story that focuses on the best player in professional baseball who announces at a press conference that he is gay. The story takes on a life of its own from there, with reactions running from ambivalence to homophobia.
"Character revelation is the engine behind this plot," said Oliver Wadsworth, who plays the character of Lemming's gay business manager, Mason Marzac.
"It's a real actor's piece."
Jackson, a graduate of the Yale School of Drama, initially directed the play at Washington D.C.'s Studio Theatre to rave reviews and sellout crowds. He won a Helen Hayes award for outstanding resident production.
"What makes the play work is its mass appeal," Jackson said.
The cast is all-male with some locker room humor and shower scene nudity typical of a post-game scene after a baseball game in the locker room.
"It's been interesting directing all guys," said Jackson, who said the entire male cast has its own connection to baseball.
"I refer to the dressing room in a theater as a locker room, and now it really is," Jackson said.
Wadsworth said the play has a big female audience that buys tickets to find out what is going on inside a male sports locker room.
"They get to see what men are thinking and doing when they get together in a locker room," Wadsworth said.