(Shoe) Shine Safari

by John Oluwole ADEkoje • Directed by Niegel Smith

Ex-child soldier Shoe Shine wants to escape the violent chaos of his homeland for the comforts of America. But before he can leave, he must face the schemes of imperialist superheroes and naked generals, not to mention the dreams of his scattered family. As the radio remixes news of atrocities with hit singles, (Shoe) Shine Safari pieces together a future from the wreckage of conflict and exploitation.

Featuring Joniece Abbott-Pratt*, Uzo Aduba*, Johnny Lee Davenport*, James Milord, Robert Murphy*, Stephen Tyrone Williams*, Reg Cathey*, and Rock Kohli*.

John Oluwole ADEkoje's short play Cry Baby Jones was part of GRIMM (Company One) and was nomainted for an Independent Reviewers of New England (IRNE) Award for Best New Play. He was also nominated for two IRNEs for his play Love Jones. Mr. ADEkoje is a National Award winner of the Kennedy Center ACTF — Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting award for his play Street Hawker, as well as the winner of the National Triennial New Play Competition. He was recently commissioned to write a new play by the Boston Black Theater Collective. He is a recipient of the Brother Thomas Fellowship for this documentary film, Street Soldiers, for which he won the Emerging Filmmakers Award by the Roxbury International Film Festival. Street Soldiers has been shown at the Pan African Film Festival at Cannes, France, and the World Film Festival in Montreal, Canada. He is currently editing his feature film, Knockaround Kids. Mr. Adekoje is a proud recipient of the Surdna Arts Teachers Fellowship. He is currently a Playwright in Residence at Company One and UMass Boston and a faculty member in the theatre department at Boston Arts Academy where he teaches playwriting, filmmaking, and directing.

(As of October 2018)

Breaking Ground is the Huntington Theatre Company's reading series, a vital part of our new play development program. This series brings attention to the work of local playwrights and presents national writers into partnership with the Huntington. Over the last seven years, Breaking Ground plays have gone on to appear at the Huntington as well as theatres in Boston, across the country, and internationally. Unless otherwise noted, admission to all Breaking Ground readings is FREE and open to the public.


  • Niegel SmithDirector
  • James MilordRebel
  • Robert MurphyLincoln Douglas
  • Stephen Tyrone WilliamsShoe Shine
  • Reg CatheyGeneral Butt Naked / Rebel
  • Rock KohliThe Broker
  • Libby McKnightReader

© 2020 Huntington Theatre Company. All rights reserved | Trouble viewing this site? Please download Mozilla Firefox or Google Chrome.