In the series, Adams stars as Max, a Black woman feeling trapped and confined in her hometown of Rockford, Illinois. Jacobson stars as Carson, an Iowa housewife torn between tradition and the future.
The first two episodes of “A League of Their Own” debuted at the American Black Film Festival (ABFF), which ran from June 15 to June 19, 2022.
RogerEbert.com was in attendance for an interview with Adams and Graham about their riveting new series and why it goes well beyond the film.
Will, why did you feel responsible for amplifying the voices of women and people of color when it came to bringing this project to life?
WILL GRAHAM: I’m a queer man. I know what it’s like to be the only one like me in a room. I grew up with [“A League Of Their Own” (1992)], and I loved it. There was something about this movie that said, “It’s OK to be on the field, even if you don’t feel like you’re supposed to be on the field.” This is a show about teams, which can mean many different things in life. I knew from the start that this show was only going to be able to be written and realized by a team. That was the way to get to the best version of this show. Typically in TV, the showrunner is like the author’s voice, and that’s not true for me. There’s more than one writer here. There’s more than one way of looking at these characters in these stories, and we want to open up space for that. We tried to create a culture based on that openness and feedback. I think it comes from that spirit of the show, which is about the joy of doing the thing that you love and about teams.
Chanté, what about this story made you decide it was the right show for you to enter into the television world?
CHANTÉ ADAMS: I like to be a part of things that I haven’t seen before, and I had never seen a story about a Black woman in sports during this time, so that was something that I wanted to do. My career has always been about telling the stories of complex and complicated Black women. That is who Max Chapman is.
Maxine is an amalgamation of several real-life women. Can you discuss the women your character is based upon?