Theater News

Chilina Kennedy to Play Billie Jean King in Love All

Anna Deavere Smith’s bio-drama makes its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse.

Billie Jean King poses with Chilina Kennedy, who will play King in the world premiere of Love All at La Jolla Playhouse.
(© La Jolla Playhouse)

Full casting has been announced for Anna Deavere Smith’s Love All, which is set to make its world premiere at La Jolla Playhouse June 3 – July 2. The official opening night is June 9.

According to a press description, “Love All is the triumphant story of the rise of sports icon and social justice pioneer Billie Jean King. The trailblazer for equality faced tough competition on the court and adversity in the world, all against a backdrop of the massive social changes of the 1960s and ’70s. With support from King herself, this exciting world premiere comes from the pen of award-winning playwright, professor, actor and author Anna Deavere Smith, whose artistry is evidenced by the ground-breaking work she has created for more than four decades, including the Tony-nominated Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992.”

Chilina Kennedy will star as King, reuniting with her Beautiful: The Carole King Musical director Marc Bruni.

Additionally, the cast features Bianca Amato as “Ilana/Alice Marble,” Rebecca S’Manga Frank as “Althea Gibson,” Elena Hurst as “Rosie Casals,” Wynn Harmon as “Psychiatrist/Merv Rose/Ted Tinling,” Ben Jacoby as “Bill Moffitt,” Lenne Klingaman as “Frankie Durr,” John Kroft as “Larry King,” Nancy Lemenager as “Gladys Heldman,” Kate Rockwell(Playhouse’s Hollywood) as “Marilyn Barnett,” Allison Spratt Pearce (Playhouse’s Come From Away, Sideways) as “Margaret Court,” and Justin Withers as “Arthur Ashe,” along with understudies: Summer Broyhill, Colby Muhammad, Ellen Nikbakht and Shana Wride.

The creative team includes scenic designer Robert Brill, costume designer Ann Hould-Ward, lighting designer Jiyoun Chang, sound designer Darron L. West, projection designer S. Katy Tucker, and wign and hair designers Jared Janas and Cassie Williams.

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Love All

Closed: July 2, 2023