“Gem Of The Ocean” Casting
Announced At Huntington

The Huntington Theatre Company has announced casting details for August Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean,” the opening production of the theater's 23rd anniversary season. Plans are underway for the production, directed by Marion McClinton, to move to Broadway with the same cast immediately following the September 10 - October 17 run in Boston.

Cast members will include:

Phylicia Rashad, who recently won the 2004 Tony Award for her work in “A Raisin In The Sun;” Anthony Chisholm (an award winner for Wilson’s “Jitney”), LisaGay Hamilton (who starred in Wilson’s “The Piano Lesson” and is known to television audiences for her seven seasons as Rebecca Washington on “The Practice”), John Earl Jelks (who has appeared in Wilson’s “Joe Turner Come and Gone” in addition to the Chicago and Los Angeles productions of “Gem of the Ocean”), Delroy Lindo (a Tony Award winner for Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone”), Ruben Santiago-Hudson (a Tony Award winner for Wilson’s “Seven Guitars”) and Raynor Scheine (who appeared in the Chicago run of “Gem”).

Set in 1904 when slavery was still a living memory, “Gem of the ocean” is the story of drifter Citizen Barlow, who arrives at the home of Aunt Ester in search of spiritual redemption. At 285 years old, Aunt Ester guides Barlow on a soaring, lyrical journey of self-discovery to the mythical City of Bones on which, Ester tells Barlow, “all this, and everything else you see is built.”

Once there, Barlow finds absolution and makes a starling discovery of faith that moves him to act beyond the boundaries of his conscience. “Gem of the Ocean” premiered at Chicago’s Goodman Theatre in 2003. A subsequent production opened at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles.

August Wilson is the author of “Jitney,” “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “Fences,” “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” “The Piano Lesson,” “Two Trains Running,” “Seven Guitars” and “King Hedley II.” These works explore the heritage and experience of African-Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the 20th century. Wilson’s work has been honored with The Pulitzer Prize, the Tony, Great Britain’s Olivier Award, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award, and the National Humanities Medal from the President of the United States, among others.

The Huntington will also offer the following Club Nights for “Gem of the Ocean:”

Designed for theatergoers aged 35 and under and for theatergoers in the gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender community, these evenings provide an opportunity to mingle with fellow theatergoers and the artistic team or cast at a pre-or post-show reception (complimentary with purchase of tickets).

For theatergoers 35 and under
Thursday, September 30
7:30 P.M. performance, with a post-show reception

For the gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgendered community
Wednesday, September 29
7:30 P.M. performance, with a pre-show reception

Learn more about theatre – both what’s on stage and what’s happening behind the scenes – with this new interactive program.
Begins at 6 P.M., Tuesday, October 5.

See a presentation by a member of the Huntington’s artistic staff, featuring contextual background, as well as production-related information.
Tuesday, September 14, 6:30 to 7 P.M. in the theatre.

There will be a Humanities Forum on Sunday, September 26, following the 2 P.M. matinee. Humanities Forums are free and open to the public.

The cast from “Gem of the Ocean” will appear on stage after the show to answer questions from the audience. The Actors Forums will be held on Thursday, September 23, following the 7:30 P.M. performance, and on Wednesday, October 6, following the 2 P.M. matinee.

For tickets or information, call the Huntington Box Office at 617-266-0800 or visit www.huntingtontheatre.org.

-- OnStage Boston



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