Playwright and Actor Jacob Sampson

NAC English Theatre Presentation

A Ship’s Company (Parrsboro, NS) Production in association with Eastern Front Theatre (Halifax, NS)

Nova Scotia’s Sam Langford is considered by many boxing historians to be the greatest fighter who ever lived. So why have so few people heard of him? Chasing Champions is the moving story of Langford’s battles against a hostile culture and the machinations of a sport that repeatedly denied him a shot at the title of world champion.

A man of grace and fortitude, the 5’7” Langford fought from lightweight to heavyweight, beating legendary fighters in each class. He died blind and penniless in Harlem in 1956. Chasing Champions examines the life of this unsung hero – perhaps the greatest athlete never known.

Chasing Champions was created by Ship’s Company Theatre in 2016 and went on to win six Theatre Nova Scotia Merritt Awards, including Outstanding New Play and Outstanding Production.

Jacob Sampson and a small ensemble cast brought to life the boxing world of 1910s and 20s; the danger and reward of surviving by your fists, and breaking the mold society has set for you. Chasing Champions takes you on the journey of Sam Langford’s boxing career. It also uses flashback and a flexible timeline to explore the fighter’s life as a child growing up in Nova Scotia and what forged him into one of the greatest fighters who ever lived.

Champions won 6 of 9 Merritt Awards it was nominated for:

  • Outstanding Lead Actor Male – Jacob Sampson
  • Outstanding Supporting Actor Male – Marty Burt
  • Outstanding Lighting Design – Leigh Ann Vardy
  • Outstanding New Play (NS) – Jacob Sampson
  • Outstanding Scenic Design – Garrett Barker (Set)
  • & Corwin Ferguson (Projections)
  • Outstanding Production – Ship’s Company Theatre

Congratulation to the entire Ship’s team!

Playwright: Jacob Sampson
Director: Ron Jenkins
Performed by Marty Burt, Micha Cromwell, Zach Faye And Jacob Sampson

Set Designer: Garrett G. Barker | Costume Designer: Cathleen Mccormack | Lighting Designer: Leigh Ann Vardy | Sound Designer: Joe Micallef | Stage Manager: Ingrid Risk | Head Technician / Stage Crew: Jess Preece | Technician: Skyler Diotte

https://www.theglobeandmail.com/arts/theatre-and-performance/article-chasing-champions-and-the-bittersweet-science-of-prize-fighting/