Open Stage of Harrisburg Executive Artistic Director Donald Alsedek directs another installment of August Wilson's acclaimed Century Cycle of plays exploring the Black experience in America Following at the intimate Angino Family Theatre. Following last year's triumph with Ma Rainey'S BLACK BOTTOM, Alsedek takes on August Wilson's African-American epic, JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE. The production opens February 1 and closes February 23. Evening performances Thursday to Saturdays are at 8:00pm and Sunday matinees are at 2:00pm.
"I am pleased to present August Wilson's work to our audience once more," says Alsedek. "JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE was a landmark work in Wilson's career, and a landmark work for the American theatre. It asks important questions about race and identity."
"JOE TURNER'S COME AND GONE is an intoxicatingly hopeful blend of history, mystery, myth, ribald humor, music, dance, and enduring faith," raves the Chicago Reader. Haunted by seven years on a chain gang, Herald Loomis appears in Pittsburgh to reunite his family. Surrounded by the vibrant tenants of a Black boarding house, he fights for his soul and his song in the dawning days of a century without slavery. "Wilson gives haunting voice to the souls of the American dispossessed," declares the New York Times. "The clash between the American and the African shakes white and black theatergoers as violently as it has shaken the history we've all shared."
August Wilson (1945 - 2005) authored a ten-play cycle exploring the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade-by-decade, through the 20th century: Fences, Gem of the Ocean, Jitney, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, King Hedley II, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom,The Piano Lesson, Radio Golf, Seven Guitars, and Two Trains Running. His plays have garnered numerous awards including two Pulitzer Prizes, the Tony Award for Best Play, two Drama Desk Awards, an Olivier Award, and eight prizes for Best Play from the New York Drama Critics Circle - including one for Joe Turner. They have been produced on Broadway, at theatres across the country, and around the worlD. Wilson himself earned many honors, including Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships, the Heinz Award, and the Whiting Writers Award. He was a member of the AmericanvAcademy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and New Dramatists. In 1999, he was awarded a National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, and he was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. On October 16, 2005, the Broadway theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street was renamed the August Wilson Theatre in honor of his deep legacy to American drama.
Alsedek has assembled a talented cast of experienced actors to bring Wilson's world to life, many of whom have performed in Open Stage's other installments of the Cycle (JITNEY, THE PIANO LESSON, and Ma Rainey'S BLACK BOTTOM). The cast includes Daniel Fordham, Sharia Benn, Aaron Bomar, Leonard Dozier, Richard Johnson, Jeremy Patterson, Tierra Fuller, Tanisha Hollis, Madison Bond II, Aneesa Neibauer, Dana Fields
Five accomplished designers have signed on to assist Alsedek on this project, including Resident Costume Designer Gwen Alsedek, Set Designer Steve Krempasky, and Lighting Designer Tristian Stasiulis.
Individual tickets for Joe Turner's Come and Gone start at only $30. Additional savings are available for groups, students, and those who join Open Stage for Thrifty Thursdays presented by PSEA - meaning discounted seats can be obtained for as little as $15! Open Stage of Harrisburg is affordable to people in the community who are just starting school, starting careers, and starting families - because lower prices are now available for every performance.
With special events during the run of JOE TURNER, theatre-lovers can come and go to their hearts' content:
• Opening night festivities are held on Friday, February 1, including a post-show reception party for the audience featuring complimentary wine and fantastic food.