1996: Souls On Fire by Patrick Sheane Duncan


Cast and crew of Souls On Fire.


In 1996, The Robey Theatre Company, undertook its first production, Patrick Sheane Duncan’s, Souls On Fire, a play that sought to shine a light and create discussion around the Rodney King Riots of 1992. The play was selected as The Robey Theatre Company’s first production because the subject and core message resonated with the ideals of the budding theatre company.

This play has a social conscience, it is current, it is about a very important issue. It is something that will make a difference and make people think. That’s what the Robey Theatre Company is about, as well as giving people a place to act

-Ben Guillory

LA Times, April 28, 1996

Patrick Sheane Duncan, who’d just written the critically acclaimed Mr. Holland’s Opus garnered some doubt as to whether or not he could capture the emotion and tension of the Rodey King Riots. Danny Glover, when asked if Patrick was the right voice replied,

It was a wonderful piece of work, that’s all that mattered. We assessed its validity in terms of the issue, by its attempt to bring us the voices out there. It wasn’t about a ‘black writer’ or a ‘Latino writer.’ . . . We often get into that, and we move to the wrong place. The possibilities reside in all of us–you can’t limit it to one race. That’s a problem in this country: We say that the possibilities don’t lie in all of us.

-Danny Glover

LA Times, April 28, 1996

The play was mounted at the Met Theatre and ran May 3rd to June 16th with two preview performances on May 1st and 2nd.


Oscar Arguello (Book), Jon Clair (Chick), Steve Hartley (Riley), Christian Keiber (MacLaughlin), Bernie Martinez (Z-Win), Skye McKenzie (Charles John Harvey), Trent Miller (Book), Pedro Pano (AKA), Jeris Lee Poindexter (Lenny), Sam Scarber (Miles), M. Darnell Suttles (Short Stack), Charo Toledo (Benita), Breck White (Dutch Boy), Ping Wu (Huong)


Set design, Thomas A. Brown; lighting design, Marianne Schneller; sound design, Charles Dayton; costume design, Iona Marshall


Souls On Fire


Souls On Fire