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The August Wilson Center for African American Culture announces its first theater event in the new center, “The Aunt Ester Cycle,” running November 10 - 22, 2009.
Beginning next week, the August Wilson Center celebrates August Wilson through the exploration of his legendary character, Aunt Ester, with passion, commitment, style and sacrifice. For 10 days, the August Wilson Center stage will be graced with established veterans, emerging brilliance and grand community women new to performance in four of the 10 plays in Mr. Wilson’s Century Cycle.
St. Louis Black Rep
GEM OF THE OCEAN BY AUGUST WILSON
Tuesday, November 10 / 8 pm
Wednesday, November 11 / 1 pm
Considered one of the oldest and largest African American theatre companies in the country, the St. Louis Black Rep first premiered Gem of the Ocean in 2007 and enthralled audiences at the National Black Theatre Festival in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Directed by Andrea Frye, the all-star cast returns with Ron Himes, Linda Kennedy, Erik Kilpatrick, A.C. Smith and Deidra Starnes.
THE LEGEND OF AUNT ESTER: A SYMPOSIUM
Wednesday, November 11 / 7 pm
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette senior theater critic Christopher Rawson moderates a conversation with actors and directors who have helped to bring Aunt Ester to life, including Linda Kennedy, Ron Himes and Andrea Frye from St. Louis Black Rep’s Gem of the Ocean, Lou Bellamy from Penumbra Theatre Company, and the spectacular Michele Shay who portrayed her in three signature productions of Gem.
Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company
TWO TRAINS RUNNING BY AUGUST WILSON
Thursday, November 12 / 8 pm
Friday, November 13 / 1 pm
Hailed as a “runaway hit” by the New Pittsburgh Courier, and “engrossing, intimate and electric” by the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, this stirring production moves to the August Wilson Center stage for two encore performances. The sensational Anthony Chisholm re-creates his starring role with a brilliant cast of local and guest artists, Jonathan Berry, Lonzo Green, Eugene Lee, Nailah Blu Lewis, Leslie X Smith and Alfred Wilson, under the masterful direction of Mark Clayton Southers.
RECONSTRUCTING KING HEDLEY II: A SYMPOSIUM
Friday, November 13 / 7 pm
Acclaimed directors Paul Carter Harrison and Eileen Morris explore new and innovative approaches to select scenes from August Wilson’s King Hedley II. Using local actors and a few surprise guests, the ensemble presents an open rehearsal of dynamic scenes and monologues, including a dialogue with the audience.
Penumbra Theatre Company
RADIO GOLF BY AUGUST WILSON
Saturday, November 14 / 8 pm
Sunday, November 15 / 3 pm
Regarded as one of the country’s foremost interpreters of August Wilson’s work, Lou Bellamy and his star company bring their rousing production directly from its October 2009 premiere. According to the Minneapolis Star Tribune, “what director Lou Bellamy has achieved with his production is something to sing about.” The dazzling cast features Terry Bellamy, James Craven, Abdul Salaam El Razzac, Austene Van and Kevin D. West.
Ping Chong & Company
THE WOMEN OF THE HILL
Friday, November 20 & Saturday, November 21 / 8 pm
Sunday, November 22 / 3 pm
Written and directed by Ping Chong and Talvin Wilks, this chamber piece of storytelling is a powerful new work created in collaboration with six dynamic women from Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District. Charlene Foggie Barnett, Dr. Kimberly C. Ellis, Phillis D. Lavelle, Marlene Ramsey, Brenda Tate and Norma J. Thompson share their personal experiences of shaping cultural identity out of rich and complex histories.
Adults: $28 per play
Children/Students: $18 per play
Seniors: 15% off adult ticket price
Symposiums: All seats $10
Festival Pass: $85.50 for 4 plays + symposia
To order tickets:
The Box Office at Theater Square
Groups of 10+: 412.471.6930
August Wilson Center members receive a 20% discount on tickets. Not a member? Join on-line at AugustWilsonCenter.org or call 412.258.2700.
2 adult tickets for only $28; 1 adult & 1 child just $22.50
Dinner and the Show
Enjoy a fabulous dinner and drinks before or after the show at Little E’s Jazz Club and Restaurant or Mahoney’s Restaurant directly across Liberty Avenue from the August Wilson Center. Show your ticket for 20% off the entire bill.
The Aunt Ester Cycle is supported in part by generous contributions from the American Express Foundation, The Heinz Endowments, National Endowment for the Arts’ American Masterpieces: Presenting initiative, Pennsylvania Council on the Arts’ Preserving Diverse Cultures and The Pittsburgh Foundation. Ping Chong’s residency and The Women of the Hill received generous support from Artists & Communities, a program of Mid Atlantic Arts Foundation, made possible by major funding from The Heinz Endowments, the William Penn Foundation and the Pennsylvania Council on the Arts. Educational and public programs are made possible by a grant from the Buhl Fund and the Frick Fund of the Buhl Foundation.