August Wilson reading series: A theatrical dream come true
Linda Armstrong | 8/29/2013, 10:02 a.m. | Updated on 8/29/2013, 10:02 a.m.
AmNews:What will the audience see?
SH:It’s not so much what they’ll see, but what they’ll take away; we want them to walk away feeling proud to be American, proud to be African-American. We want them to recognize that Wilson celebrated the African-American experience, and it’s something we can be proud of. He wrote these plays about salt-of-the-Earth people and gave them the respect and dignity they are due—and we are all better for it.
AmNews:Is the series free to the public, or is there an admission price?
SH:The series is sold out, but the readings will be available to all via live video webcast at www.wnyc.org/thegreenespace. Select plays will air on WNYC and other public radio stations in 2014.
AmNews:Why did you decide to do this project?
SH:We were thrust into the duty of doing it. We have travelled with, lived with and loved Wilson’s work for so long, but we realized that kids don’t know this work. We want to make sure that Wilson is assigned reading, just like Shakespeare and [Eugene] O’Neill. We have a responsibility, as far as committing ourselves to Wilson’s work. We want to pass on what we learned from Wilson, Paul and all the great actors who appeared in Wilson’s work over the years but are no longer with us. We have a responsibility that it doesn’t stop here with us. We have a responsibility to never forget where we have come from—smells, styles, textures that Wilson recognized as universal within the African-American experience—and pass that down to generations to come.
Please make plans to experience these readings. The play schedule is as follows:
- Wednesday, Sept. 4: “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” Directed by Phylicia Rashad
- Monday, Sept. 9: “The Piano Lesson” Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
- Wednesday, Sept. 11: “Two Trains Running” Directed by Michele Shay
- Friday, Sept. 13: “Seven Guitars” Directed by Stephen McKinley Henderson
- Monday, Sept. 16: “Jitney” Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
- Saturday, Sept. 21: “King Hedley II” Directed by Michele Shay
- Tuesday, Sept. 24: “Gem of the Ocean” Directed by Kenny Leon
- Saturday, Sept. 28: “Radio Golf” Directed by Marion McClinton
Past readings include:
- Monday, Aug. 26: “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson
- Wednesday, Aug. 28: “Fences” Directed by Kenny Leon
For further information, visit www.thegreenespace.org.