James Craven as Thurgood Marshall

The Illusion Theater will present a one man show about Supreme Court Justice Thurgood Marshall, with James Craven starring as the first African American on the court.

Assignment:  Interview James Craven about playing Thurgood Marshall.

Deadlines:  I’d like to get this on the air during the week of March 2.


MARCH 6-15

James Craven stars in the compelling one-man play

The Illusion Theater’s 40th Anniversary Season continues with a powerful play based on the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall, starring one of the Twin Cities’ most venerable actors, James Craven. A journey of epic proportions, Thurgood is an eye-opening, humorous and uplifting portrait of a true American hero on stage March 6-15 at the downtown Minneapolis theater, located on the eighth floor of the Cowles Center, 528 Hennepin Ave. Post-show panels and audience discussions follow each performance.

In Thurgood, the story opens with retired Supreme Court Justice Marshall returning to Howard University, where he earned his law degree, to give a speech. He then brings to life significant events and turning points – from his childhood in the back alleys of Baltimore to his career as a civil rights pioneer, and ultimately as the first African-American Supreme Court Justice.

Illusion’s Co-Producing Director Michael Robins directs the critically-acclaimed show.  He said, “To honor the 60th anniversary of Brown v. Board of Education, the recent 50th anniversary of the Civil Right Act of 1964 and soon to commemorate 50th anniversary of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, I’m excited that we are able to bring this potent play to the Illusion stage. It’s fitting that we are spotlighting one of our country’s biggest civil rights champions and are using this production as a catalyst for audience discussion of how his life’s work inspires us today.”

Playwright George Stevens, Jr., is an award-winning writer, producer and director. Thurgood, his stage writing debut, premiered in 2006 at the Westport Country Playhouse (Connecticut) and starred James Earl Jones. The 2008 Broadway production featured Laurence Fishburne, who was nominated for a Tony Award and later starred in the 2011 HBO film of the same name.

In addition to Robins, the Thurgood creative team includes Jonathan Carlson (video), Roberta Carlson (music), Dean Holzman (sets), Mandi Johnson (costumes) and Michael Wangen (lighting).


Tickets for Thurgood are $20-35.  Group discounts are available for groups of 10 or more people. Tickets are available at the Illusion Theater Box Office at 612-339-4944 or online at www.illusiontheater.org.


2 thoughts on “James Craven as Thurgood Marshall”

  1. I would like to interview James Craven playing the role of Thurgood Marshall at Illusion Theatre. Craven is a professional colleague and personal friend. I also admired Justice Marshall’s illustrious career, and how he wielded mother wit and judicial sense throughout his practice. Again, it would be a pleasure to volunteer and cover this story. As I am new to the Dashboard vol-thing, please let me know if I win this assignment via email.


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