Reading Stage presents TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET

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by Jiréh Breon Holder

directed by Gary Stanford, Jr.

One Night Only: Monday, March 1, 7 pm on Zoom

Tickets: Free (suggested donation $10)

IMPORTANT:  You will receive the Zoom link in the confirmation email when you RSVP; the email comes from with the subject line: “here is your login information for CCCT’s Reading Stage production of TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET on March 1 at 7pm”. If you don’t receive this email, your reservation for the performance is not complete. Please check your spam or junk folder or send an email to for assistance.


In the summer of 1961, the Freedom Riders are embarking on a courageous journey into the Deep South. When twenty-year-old Bowzie Brandon gives up a life-changing college scholarship to join the movement, he’ll have to convince his loved ones—and himself—that shaping his country’s future might be worth jeopardizing his own.

“…illuminating and moving…TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET dramatizes questions of class difference within the black community that rarely get broached onstage.” —NY Times

“Holder is putting his finger on something powerful, something that Fight for Freedom narratives—even exquisite ones like Ava DuVernay’s film Selma—don’t necessarily get at: Protesting is a privilege.” —New York Magazine

“A lyrical drama with a quartet of fully realized, deeply felt characters.” —New Yorker

“…[Holder is] a gifted writer who will be amazing to watch as his work grows.” —

“Better than any play I’ve seen on the subject, TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET examines the role of class in our nation’s civil rights struggles; it dares to ask, is agitating for justice an activity most easily pursued by the otherwise privileged?” —

“TOO HEAVY FOR YOUR POCKET is remarkable for the depth of its exploration of a tumultuous time in our history…Holder has managed to captivate the audience by examining issues of race, gender, power, faith, and politics without ever losing sight of his characters. And in doing so, has shown himself to be a powerful voice to be reckoned with.” —



Katherine Green (Evelyn Brandon) was born and raised most of her life in the Bay Area. She grew up singing and dancing in church plays as well as performing with P.S. Performance, a bay area performing arts company that performed for senior homes and schools. When she’s not on stage, she’s behind the scenes, setting up live events and audio engineering at her church in Palo Alto.

Marcus Hughes (Tony Carter) Bio to come.

Kahlil Leneus (Bowzie Brandon) is excited to perform this timely reading for CCCT. Most recently, Kahlil wrote and performed the monologue “6 Steps on How to Crack a Relationship (Quarantine Edition)” for the show Neighborhood Stories. Other favorite projects include RENT at Youth Musical Theater Company (Collins), Into the Woods (Cinderella’s Prince) at ACT’s Young Conservatory, Les Miserables (Jean Valjean) at Berkeley Playhouse Teenstage, Dance of the Holy Ghosts at Ubuntu Theater, Footloose (Shaw) at Oakland School for the Arts, The Amen Corner at AlterTheater, The Gathering (Michael) with Jones Street Productions, Queenie Pie with Oakland Opera Theater, Caroline, or Change (Joe) at Pacific Conservatory of the Performing Arts, and Show Boat at San Francisco Opera. Kahlil is a high school senior and besides performing, he loves to write.

Jenn Stephens (Sally-Mae Carter) is thrilled to be back home in the Bay Area! This is where her training started while performing over 25 shows with the Palo Alto Children’s Theatre. Jenn pushed on and received her MFA in Acting from Columbia University which led her to Broadway/ Films/ Television/ Commercials and now online. Jenn is a proud wife to a former WWE Superstar and proud mom of two young performers. Getting to work with her family is the best feeling in the world because when you love what you do it’s not really work…


Gary Stanford, Jr. is a Bay Area native (born in SF) and has lived on the Bay Area Peninsula and South Bay for his entire life. As a performing artist, he has been involved with singing, dancing, acting since he was a young child. He spent his youth with P. S. Performance, a Bay Area performing arts company that primarily performed for senior/retirement homes and hospitals as well as competed in State Talent Competitions.


Jiréh Breon Holder is currently the Playwriting Fellow of the Department of Theater and Creative Writing at Emory University. He is an Atlanta-area playwright, director, and dramaturg. His sharp and often political plays frequently include wild visual metaphors and address the magic of everyday life in the South. In 2016, he received his MFA in Playwriting from the Yale School of Drama and co-founded Pyramid Theatre Company in Des Moines, Iowa. From 2012-13, he served as the Kenny Leon Fellow at the Tony Award-winning Alliance Theatre. He graduated cum laude from Morehouse College (B.A. Theatre) where he served as the artistic director of Spelman College Playwrights’ Workshop and directed several productions. His plays have received productions at the Alliance Theatre, the Yale School of Drama, and Yale Cabaret. He has also received readings at the Manhattan Theatre Club, the Roundabout Theatre, the Kennedy Center, and the Old Globe Theatre. As a theater artist with a strong political impulse, many of his plays and projects address the prison industrial complex, human rights, and agricultural/environmental sustainability. He is a firm believer that art changes lives and each project he is involved with seeks to touch people one audience at a time. Visit his website at


This post was written by CCCT