In 1964, a white man walks into a public restroom in a Washington, DC park looking for sex. The next man who enters is a black man.
In what seems at first to be a simple encounter, The Seat Next to the King explores the lives of two men from the pages of history who literally sat next to the most powerful men in America–Bayard Rustin, a friend to Martin Luther King Jr. who organized the March on Washington, and Walter Jenkins, top aide and friend to President Lyndon Johnson. An exploration of sexuality, race, and masculinity, The Seat Next to the King imagines a meeting between two men, burdened by their prejudices and inner conflicts, as they attempt to find a connection.
News & Reviews
“The script is taut, tense and full of nuance about race, sexuality, power and dignity… ” —NOW Magazine
“Exploring sexuality, race, and masculinity, this play imagines a meeting between two men — Bayard Rustin, a friend to Martin Luther King, Jr., and Walter Jenkins, top aide and friend to President Lyndon Johnson — who are looking for sex in a public washroom in 1964 Washington, DC.” —Prairie Books Now
About the Author
Steven Elliot Jackson is a playwright and the co-artistic director of Minmar Gaslight Productions and its family theatre company, 3 Little Bears Productions. His plays include The Seat Next To The King (which won Best New Play at the Toronto Fringe in 2017,) The Leaves Beneath The Trees, Statue Of Limitations, Three Ordinary Men, (which won Best New Play at the Hamilton Fringe Festival in 2020). Also in 2020, Jackson premiered the historical audio play, Sarah/Frank and the video drama, The Cage at the Toronto Fringe Digital Collective. In 2021, his script The Kindness Of Murder premiered at Next Stage Community Booster, and his play The Laughter premiered at the Hamilton Fringe Festival.