Fort Worth’s Jubilee Theatre is tackling the life of Justice Thurgood Marshall. And actor Selmore Haines III is starring in the one-man show. As Marshall was fighting discrimination, Haines was experiencing it – and it almost kept him from becoming an actor.
On stage, Selmore Haines III is commanding as our first African-American Supreme Court Justice. His deep voice fills the the theater as he shares anecdotes from Thurgood Marshall’s life. The audience is captivated. They laugh uncontrollably the first time they hear Haines discuss Marshall’s lust for the feminine figure, and they applaud each time Haines tells them about a victory in the courtroom.
“He’s just like Thurgood,” says a woman from the audience.
“Not very many people know what Thurgood Marshall sounded or looked like,” Haines says. “I think it’s part of the fun for them. They want to learn about this impactful figure, but because his work affected their lives, they sort of feel like they know him.”
The 58-year-old actor says that a lot of work went into playing Marshall. He's the only one on stage and it takes a lot discipline to move from one story to the other without losing the audience's attention.
But Haines' story has quite the tie to the work Marshall was doing as a young lawyer for the NAACP.