Award Winning Play “Jelly Belly” Hits South Florida


CONTACT:  Tinika McIntyre, African American Performing Arts Community Theatre, Inc.  305-456-0287 or

September 7 – October 2, 2011

Finley Polynice, Anthony Roberts, Kathleen Robiou, Kristoff Skalet and Vaughn-Rian St. James

Award Winning Stage Play “Jelly Belly” Hits South Florida

“Jelly Belly offers an unremittingly bleak portrait of the inner-city life and the enormous pressure on working-class black men to be gangsters” – The New York Times

[Miami, FL – August 9, 2011] — The African American Performing Arts Community Theatre, Inc. (AAPACT) proudly presents “Jelly Belly”, an award-winning stage play written by Charles Smith,  staged at the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center in the Wendell Narcisse Theater located at6161 N.W. 22nd Avenue, in Miami, Florida 33142, from September 7 through October 2, 2011.

Show times are 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. with Matinees on Sunday.

Directed by Teddy Harrell, Jr., featuring Kathleen Robiou (Barbara), Anthony Roberts (Mike),Kristoff Skalet (Bruce), Finley Polynice (Kenny) and Vaughn-Rian St. James (Jelly Belly).

Finley Polynice, Kathleen Robiou, Anthony Roberts, Kristoff Skalet and Vaughn-Rian St. James


Charles Smith’s “Jelly Belly” is a powerful story of a convict returning from a brief prison stay to resume his position as the neighborhood kingpin. When Jelly Belly attempts to regain the service of Kenny, a former drug runner who has gone straight; Kenny is torn between the hope of prosperity through hard work shared with his friend Mike or the opportunistic life of a drug pusher Jelly Belly provides.


  • Cornerstone National Playwriting Award – 1985
  • Theodore Ward National Playwriting Award – 1988
  • NBC New Voices Award – 1990

Preview shows are $5 on September 7 and 8.

The Miami-Dade County Talk Back Performance (*First Fifty People FREE* Sponsored by: The Florida Humanities Council) Regular Admission is $10 on September 9.

Official Opening Night Show is $25 on September 10.

Remaining performances @ Regular Admission: $20:

  • September 11 at 3 p.m.
  • September 16 at 8 p.m.
  • September 17 at 8 p.m.
  • September 18 at 3 p.m.
  • September 23 at 8 p.m.
  • September 24 at 8 p.m.
  • September 25 at 3 p.m.
  • September 30 8 p.m.
  • October 1 at 8 p.m.
  • October 2 at 3 p.m.

Tickets are available for purchase in advance at or at the box office (an hour before show time). Group discounts are available for 10 or more persons. The theater is handicap accessible; please call in advance to arrange seating.

For reservations call (305) 456-0287 or send email to

Sponsored by the Mayor and Board of Miami-Dade County Commissioners, theMiami-DadeCountyParksand Recreations Department,African Heritage Cultural Arts Theatre,FloridaHumanities Council, Winn-Dixie Foundation, Publix Super Market Charities, Cox Radio/HOT 105, The Miami Herald, South Florida Times, McDonalds Restaurants, The Miami Times

AAPACT is a not-for-profit 501 (3) c organization. All contributions are tax deductible.

Kathleen Robiou, Anthony Roberts, Kristoff Skalet, Vaughn-Rian St. James and Finley Polynice


  • Jelly Belly (Vaughn-Rian St. James)
  • Kenny (Finley Polynice)
  • Mike (Anthony Roberts)
  • Barbara (Kathleen Robiou)
  • Bruce (Kristoff Skalet)

The Talk-Back will be moderated by Dr. Dorothy Jenkins-Fields. Tickets are $5-$25. Call 305-456-0287 or visit

Jelly Belly’s writer Charles Smith wrote:

“I first met Jelly Belly in Chicago on a hot August night in 1982. I had finished my first year of graduate school and had stopped by to visit with my brother Michael, before heading back to Iowa City.  That night, I sat on the front porch of my brother’s house, drank beer, and listened, while Jelly belly discoursed on his system of values.  He had assessed all human life in the terms of cartons of cigarettes and time spent in jail.

“According to Jelly belly, killing an uneducated black man would probably get you probation. If you killed and educated white man, you would serve at least ten years of a twenty-year sentence. A white woman with a family would get you the death penalty. What shocked me was not that Jelly Belly had very calmly and openly admitted to murdering several people on several occasions, many of whom had been his friends. What shocked me was the fact that each time he had been convicted of murder, he had spent no more than six months in jail.

“I immediately decided that Jelly Belly was an aberration, a freak of society who had slipped through the cracks of justice. As the night wore on, I slowly came to understand that Jelly Belly was no more of an aberration than I was and that his system of values could not exist without a concrete foundation to serve as a basis for those values. I began to realize that Jelly Belly’s system of values was not his own, but rather one that he had inherited from a power far greater than himself. He was not the actual perpetrator of the unending cycle of violence but an unknowing and helpless perpetrator.”


African Heritage CulturalArtsCenter,6161 NW 22nd Avenue, Miami, FL33142


Teddy Harrell, Jr., Founder/Artistic Director

African American Performing Arts Community Theatre (AAPACT)

P.O. Box472451

Miami, Florida33247

Theatre Office: 305-456-0287

Cell: 786-371-3345