Run Time: 75 minutes, no intermission
Join us for Cast Panels or thoughts from artist and scholar Responders, following each performance Sep 16–Oct 9 

Told in six rounds and set in a boxing ring, The Royale is loosely inspired by the story of Jack Johnson, a boxer who -- at the height of the Jim Crow era -- became the most famous and the most notorious black man on earth. Through a succinct script and the beauty of sound, this intimate story of internal struggle proves that sometimes the most powerful fights are the ones we battle in our own minds.

Written by Marco Ramirez (Sons of Anarchy and Orange is the New Black), The Royale brings the crackling energy of the early 20th-century boxing circuit to the stage.

Age Recommendation: 14+ for some violence and adult language
ACT's policy is to inform audiences of content, but to let parents, guardians, and teachers make decisions that they feel is most appropriate for youth and teens in their care.

Photo by Hayley Young Photography

Support provided by    Nesholm Family

in alphabetical order

Jarrod M. Smith
Lorenzo Roberts
G. Valmont Thomas
R. Hamilton Wright
Zenobia Taylor
Jay Jackson

Creative Team

Ameenah Kaplan
Carey Wong
Rose Pederson
Ben Zamora
Sharath Patel
Scenic Design
Costume Design
Lighting Design
Sound Design

*Members of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States


Marco Ramirez has had plays produced at Lincoln Center Theater, The Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts (DC), The Humana Festival (Louisville), The Old Globe (San Diego), The Bush Theatre (London), American Theater Company (Chicago), and Center Theatre Group (LA).  Honors include the Outer Critics Circle’s John Gassner Playwriting Award, Juilliard’s Lila Acheson Wallace Playwriting Fellowship, Lincoln Center’s Le Comte du Nouy Award, and TCG’s Edgerton Foundation New Play Award. A WGA and Emmy Award-nominated TV writer, his credits include Sons of Anarchy (FX), Orange is the New Black (Netflix), Fear The Walking Dead (AMC), Marvel’s The Defenders (Netflix), and Marvel’s Daredevil (Netflix).

In the Ring With Jack Johnson - Part I: The Rise by Adam J Pollack
In the Ring With Jack Johnson - Part II: The Reign by Adam J Pollack
King of the World by David Remnick
Muhammad Ali: His Life and Times by Thomas Hauser
Invisible Man by Ralph Ellison
Between the World and Me by Ta-Nehisi Coates
What Does It Mean to be White? by Robin DiAngelo
Is Everyone Really Equal? by Robin DiAngelo

Unforgiving Blackness; The Rise and Fall of Jack Johnson (2004) A Ken Burns Film
The Great White Hope (1970) Directed by Martin Ritt w/ James Earl Jones

A discussion on the themes of the play will follow each performance. On select nights, we have invited responses from local scholars and artists. On other nights, a panel made up of members of the cast will be present.

Meet our Responders

Donald Byrd Donald Byrd is the Artistic Director of Spectrum Dance Theater, is a critically acclaimed choreographer, speaker, and has been described as a citizen artist. His company’s most recent season, #RACISH, has generated much attention and discussion.
Eric Davis 2 Eric Davis is a professor of Sociology at Bellevue College. He has taught courses such as the Sociology of Blacks in America, the Sociology of Sport, Rap 101: The Message Behind the Music, among many others.
John Eklof John Eklof is a writer, educator, and public speaker. He's been a professional public speaker of 8 years. The subjects he speaks on revolve around social justice, racial justice, and envisioning a society based on unity. You can find his writing at
Nikkita Oliver Nikkita "KO" Oliver is a local creative/teaching artist, organizer, and boxer-of-sorts. She is currently the case manager for Creative Justice, an arts-based alternative to incarceration and Writer-in-Residence with Writers in the Schools.
Vivian Phillips Vivian Phillips is the chair of the Seattle Arts Commission, the Director of Marketing and Communications at Seattle Theatre Group, and is a co-founder of The Hansberry Project.
Laura Wright 2 Laura Wright is an educator, community organizer, spoken word artist, and competitive amateur boxer, residing and working in South Seattle. She is a committed and passionate advocate for equity and racial justice, working to create spaces that magnify personal narratives, challenge societal injustices, and foster creative community engagement.

See our Responders!
Sunday      September 18        2:00pm         Donald Byrd    
Friday        September 23        8:00pm         John Eklof
Saturday    September 24        8:00pm         John Eklof
Sunday      September 25        2:00pm         Nikkita Oliver
Tuesday     September 27        7:30pm         Eric Davis
Thursday    September 29        7:30pm        Vivian Phillips
Tuesday     October 4               7:30pm        Eric Davis
Thursday    October 6               2:00pm        Laura Wright
Saturday    October 8               8:00pm         Nikkita Oliver
Sunday      October 9               7:00pm         Donald Byrd