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Toni Stone Will Be Simulcast Live at Nationals Park
Toni Stone stands as an example of history’s trailblazers. She defied expectations and created new rules in a male-dominated sports world while never losing her integrity or dignity in pursuit of her dream. This story shows us an extraordinary woman.
While Competing in Negro League Baseball, She Experienced Hostile Crowds and Resentful Teammates
Toni Stone experienced many obstacles while playing for the Indianapolis Clowns Negro League, both on and off of the field. She faced hostile crowds, was shunned by disgruntled teammates and dealt with players from opposing teams who attempted to injure her when sliding into base.
But she also produced some of the most significant hits in women’s professional baseball history – such as her first ever hit off Satchel Paige – and remained an integral figure on both the field and in fans’ hearts.
Based on Martha Ackmann’s book Curveball: The Remarkable Story of Toni Stone, this play recounts an inspiring athlete navigating her way through playing in the Negro Leagues despite facing many difficulties and difficulties along the way. Lydia R. Diamond of Arena Alumna resident playwright Lydia R Diamond has adapted it for stage performance (Smart People, Stick Fly).
Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater will partner with Nationals Park on Sunday, September 26 to host a live simulcast of Roundabout Theatre Company’s production of “Toni Stone.” Tickets must be reserved and reserved seats at Kreeger Theater must be watched live by thousands across Nationals Park via center field video board.
Molly Smith, Artistic Director for Washington Nationals Theatre at Playback Live!, says she wanted to find new ways to reach a wide audience for this production. Hosting an event at the ballpark provided the perfect way for her to connect with new and returning audiences alike while supporting Washington Nationals work.
Gregory McCarthy, Senior Vice President of Community Engagement at Nationals Park is thrilled about their collaboration with Arena Stage and looks forward to helping make this free event a success. The story of an African American female who overcame all odds to play baseball can serve as an inspiring tale and encourage young people to chase their own dreams, whether that be onstage or the field.
Santoya Fields, who portrays Toni Stone in the play, says she is delighted to return to Washington’s Arena Stage, where she previously workshopped it. “Now is an ideal opportunity to tell the tale of this remarkable woman who became the first Black female player in Negro League Baseball while forging her own path through this male-dominated sport,” says Santoya.
This play celebrates an underrepresented voice while giving audiences a taste of what makes sports truly rewarding and exhilarating.