“August Wilson's Legacy,”
Free Public Event Sponsored By
Huntington Theatre & Roxbury Community College

In conjunction with "Fences," the opening production in its 2009-2010 Season of American Stories, the Huntington Theatre Company is partnering with Roxbury Community College to present "August Wilson’s Legacy," a celebration of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright’s work.

To be held September 14, at 7:30 p.m., in the College's Media Arts Building, the event will center on a discussion between acclaimed Wilson director Kenny Leon and a diverse panel of local artists. 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), will host the event, which will also include a performance of Wilson’s work and a sneak peek at "Fences."

The event is free and open to the public. While no tickets are required, reservations may be secured at huntingtontheatre.org/WilsonEventRSVP. Roxbury Community College's Media Arts Building is located at 1234 Columbus Avenue in Boston.

Topics to be 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 panel will include:

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 "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 the 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 and 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."

"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. That dream was realized in 2008 at Gallaudet University by a cast of deaf black actors.

Before Wilson died at age 60 in 2005, he accomplished the ambitious goal he set 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 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" - representing the 1950s - brings the Huntington one step closer to completing the cycle.

-- OnStage Boston




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