Don't ever dare Jason Bowen to do something. 'Cause he'll do it. He'll do it better and badder than any dare-loving fool. Just ask Courtney, his homeroom buddy from high school. She thought she had the basketball star nailed. "C'mon, Jason," she said, "try out for the school play. I dare you."
The play? Damn Yankees. The school? Milton Academy, where Jason was a student, thanks to his hard-working mom and scholarship support. The Roslindale native had no interest in compromising his jock reputation. But then again, this was Courtney. No way he was going to let her have the last word. He auditioned for the play. A few days later, the cast was posted. Jason got the lead. He didn't tell a soul. The big reveal came when his character, Joe Hardy — first played by another classmate as a white old guy — was transformed in a scene into a younger version of himself. Out came Jason — young, but very not white. The crowd roared. Then, Jason spoke. He sang. He danced. He acted. The audience stopped laughing.
Since then, Jason has tackled a wide range of roles, from Othello to a wheelchair-bound prison inmate. In performances with the Actors’ Shakespeare Project, the Huntington Theatre Company, and other local theater groups, Jason has earned rave reviews from critics as well as his cast mates. Akiba Abaka, founder of Up You Mighty Race Company, calls him "the real deal,” adding, “No one in this town can hold a torch to him." Reckon his classmates could have told everyone that way back in high school. Will we see Jason's name on Hollywood Boulevard? C'mon, Jason. We dare you.