Rickey Atkins Jr. has many passions. One of those is working with special education students in Aldine ISD. His other passion is acting. The resource teacher recently displayed his acting chops during the annual Fade to Black Festival. This year’s event took place Jan. 11-13 at the Midtown Arts and Theater Center Houston (MATCH).
Each year, finalists are showcased at the Fade To Black Reading Series. One of the celebrated writers for the 2019 event is Brittney S. Harris for her work The Amazin’ Jason.
Harris teaches acting and collaborative techniques in the School of Performing Arts at Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University in Blacksburg, Virginia. Her areas of expertise are in race performance, activist theatre, and youth-based cultural enrichment programming. Currently, she is working on three independent projects exploring the effects of social media on the psyche.
Her play, The Amazin’ Jason, explores the startling reality of the opioid crisis facing the U.S. teen population and the demands felt by student-athletes. The story evolves as Jason Dwyer, a once-rising high school football quarter with a bright future recounts the ill-fated night he let his future slip through his fingers as the result of his addiction.
Atkins, whose screen name is R.J. Atkins, portrayed the role of Derek Harmon, a case manager assigned to Jason Dwyer. Marcus Freeman directed the play. Damus Wynn played the role of Jason.
Charnele Brown is Atkins primary acting coach. Many who grew up in the late ’80s and early ’90s will remember Brown from the sitcom A Different World. She portrayed medical student Kimberly Reese. The series centered on the life of students at Hillman College, a fictional historically black college in Virginia. Brown heads the Charnele Brown Acting Academy in Houston.
Atkins works at the Aldine Education Center and Lane School.
Director of Written Communication & Spanish Media
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