September 1, 2009 MEDIA CONTACT: Rebecca Curtiss
RCurtiss@huntingtontheatre.bu.edu or 617 273-1537
PLAYWRIGHT AUGUST WILSON CELEBRATED AND HIS LEGACY DISCUSSED WITH NEW GENERATION OF
ARTISTS AT “AUGUST WILSON’S LEGACY,” FREE PUBLIC EVENT SPONSORED BY
HUNTINGTON THEATRE COMPANY AND ROXBURY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
WHAT: In conjunction with the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of Fences, director Kenny Leon and a panel of theatre artists discuss Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson’s legacy and look ahead to the next generation of playwrights at August Wilson’s Legacy, an event co-sponsored by the Huntington Theatre Company and Roxbury Community College that will be hosted by WCVB-TV’s Karen Holmes Ward.
WHEN: Monday, September 14, 2009, 7:30pm
WHERE: Roxbury Community College, Mainstage at the Media Arts Building, 1234 Columbus Avenue, Boston
TICKETS: FREE and open to the public. No ticket required, but reserve a spot at huntingtontheatre.org/WilsonEventRSVP (BOSTON) – In conjunction with Fences, the opening production in its 2009-2010 Season of American Stories, the Huntington Theatre Company partners with Roxbury Community College to present August Wilson’s Legacy, a celebration of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright’s work and a discussion with acclaimed Wilson director Kenny Leon and a diverse panel of local artists who will look ahead to the next generation. Karen Holmes Ward, WCVB-TV’s Director of Public Affairs and Community Services and host and executive producer of CityLine, the station’s weekly urban news and feature magazine, hosts the event, which will also include a performance of Wilson’s work and a sneak peek of Fences.
Topics discussed will include Wilson’s impact on the panelists, the process of crafting stories for a diverse American audience, and the director/playwright relationship. The diverse panel of artists includes:
- Kenny Leon, director of the Huntington’s production of Fences and Lydia R. Diamond’s Stick Fly (February-March 2010), as well as Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, and Radio Golf for the Huntington and on Broadway, artistic director of The Kennedy Center's August Wilson’s 20th Century, and founding artistic director of True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA;
- Lydia R. Diamond, Huntington Playwriting Fellow and author of Stick Fly, a portrait of a complex African-American family that takes place on Martha’s Vineyard (playing at the Huntington in February-March 2010), as well as of The Bluest Eye and Voyeurs de Venus;
- Kirsten Greenidge, Huntington Playwriting Fellow and author of The Luck of the Irish, The Curious Walk of the Salamander, Bossa Nova, and 103 Within The Veil;
- Summer L. Williams, director of an Elliot Norton and Independent Reviewers of New England-winning production of Diamond’s The Bluest Eye, The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, Spell #7, and Jesus Hopped the ‘A’ Train (Norton Award for Best Fringe Production) for Boston’s Company One;
- Diego Arciniegas, artistic director of Boston’s Publick Theatre, director of Humble Boy, The Seagull, Much Ado About Nothing, and Hamlet, as well as Melinda Lopez’s upcoming From Orchids to Octopi at Underground Railway Theatre;
- Melinda Lopez, Huntington Playwriting Fellow and author of From Orchids to Octopi (upcoming at Underground Railway Theatre), Caroline in Jersey, Sonia Flew, and Gary.
Information about the upcoming seasons at a number of Greater Boston theatre companies will be available at the event.
August Wilson’s Legacy will be American Sign Language-interpreted for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing communities by Michael Sullivan and Christopher Robinson. Sullivan is a freelance interpreter who specializes in medical interpreting at various hospitals and clinics around Boston. He also interprets for the stage, most recently for the Huntington's production of Two Men of Florence. Robinson has interpreted for four previous Huntington productions of Wilson plays. In 2004, Robinson spoke with Wilson about a mutual dream to translate Fences into ASL. This dream was realized in 2008 at Gallaudet University by a cast of Deaf black actors.
WILSON AT THE HUNTINGTON
Before Wilson died at age 60 in 2005, he accomplished the ambitious goal he set out for himself: to write ten plays, one set in each decade, that explored the African-American experience in the 20th century. The Huntington played an integral part in Wilson’s play development process, producing early productions of eight of the ten works before transferring them to New York: Joe Turner’s Come and Gone-1910s (1986), The Piano Lesson-1930s(1987), Two Trains Running-1960s(1990), Seven Guitars-1940s(1995), Jitney-1970s (1998), King Hedley II-1980s(2000), Gem of the Ocean-1900s (2004), and Radio Golf-1990s (2006). This season’s production of Fences-1950s brings the Huntington one step closer to completing the cycle.
THE HUNTINGTON’S SEASON OF AMERICAN STORIES
The Huntington Theatre Company is Boston’s largest and most popular theatre company, hosting 64 Tony Award-winning artists, garnering 36 Elliot Norton Awards, and sending ten shows to Broadway since its founding in 1982. The Huntington’s 2009-2010 season, the Season of American Stories, is the first in the Company’s 28-year history comprised entirely of plays by American writers. The plays of the season relate to one another through stories of opportunities lost and found, of intergenerational struggles and successes, and of the most intimate and meaningful relationships. Drawn from some of the best writing the country has to offer, the Huntington will engage its audience in a season-long conversation about issues of race, class, values, and a shared American experience. The African-American experience is explored throughout the season, from the Civil War (A Civil War Christmas), to the 1950s (Fences), to today (Stick Fly).
ROXBURY REPERTORY THEATRE AT ROXBURY COMMUNITY COLLEGE
The Roxbury Repertory Theatre (RRT) was founded by Marshall Hughes and Robbie McCauley in 2005 as the theatre company of Roxbury Community College (RCC). RRT is comprised of a company of artists, performers, and technicians who bring unique backgrounds and new perspectives to the stage and is diverse in age, race, and experience. RRT aims to initiate important discussions around issues of special significance to the community it serves. In March 2010, RRT will present Anne and Emmett by Janet Langhart Cohen and directed by McCauley, an imagining of a conversation between Anne Frank and Emmet Till. For more information, visit the Anne and Emmett homepage at www.anneandemmett.com , or RRT at www.rccmainstage.com, or call 617 541-5380.
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For more information about Fences, visit www.huntingtontheatre.org/fences.
To download high-resolution images pertaining to Fences, visit http://www.huntingtontheatre.org/news/photo/0910/fences.aspx.