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Seattle Rep to Channel Wilson's Last Play

Seattle Repertory Theatre honors August Wilson by presenting the last play in his historic ten-play cycle, Radio Golf, directed by Kenny Leon.


Set in the Hill District of Pittsburgh in the 1990s, Radio Golf focuses on a pair of real estate entrepreneurs who must decide whether to raze history or build upon it, while a mysterious, seemingly ancient man prods them to define who they are and what they stand for. Harmond Wilks is a mayoral candidate and successful property developer, and with partner Roosevelt Hicks has a fail-proof plan to jumpstart the revitalization of his decrepit childhood neighborhood. But when Old Joe enters their office, claiming to own the house on Wylie Street that is to be demolished, the men face choices that will challenge their own understandings of their heritage, their culture, and their future.

The story concludes Wilson's powerful ten-play cycle chronicling the African American experience in the 20th century, and will be the ninth play in the cycle to be produced by Seattle Rep, with Gem of the Ocean the only title remaining that has not yet been presented by the theatre.

Kenny Leon's Broadway credits include the recent sell-out revival of A Raisin in the Sun, and Wilson's Gem of the Ocean.

Leon will direct a cast of five that features Rocky Carroll ("Chicago Hope") as Harmond Wilks, James A. Williams as Roosevelt Hicks, Anthony Chisholm as Elder Joseph Barlow, Denise Burse as Mame Wilks, and John Earl Jelks as Sterling Johnson.

August Wilson was the author of Jitney, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, King Hedley II, Gem of the Ocean, and Radio Golfa cycle of works that explore the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade by decade, over the course of the 20th century. His plays have been produced at regional theaters across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway, and have garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences and The Piano Lesson, a Tony Award for Fences, Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney, as well as New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for eight of his plays. The cast recording of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. He made his professional stage debut at Seattle Rep in the 2003 Hot Type Festival with his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, and the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. Born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he made his home in Seattle.

Mr. Wilson revealed a diagnosis of terminal cancer shortly after the premiere of Radio Golf in Los Angeles; he passed away Sunday, October 2, 2005.  As a tribute to Wilson, Broadway's Virginia Theatre was recently renamed The August Wilson Theatre.

Radio Golf runs January 19-February 18, with an official opening of January 25th. For more information call (206) 443-222, or visit www.seattlerep.org.

 

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Robbie is a California native, and has lived in Seattle for the past four years. His love for theatre began after seeing his High School's production of Bye Bye Birdie and Bette Midler's television Gypsy in the same week. He attended Western Washington University, where he studied drama. Other areas of study include Absurdist, Postmodern, and Children's Theatre. He has a deep passion for Musical Theatre, and is an avid collector of Cast Recordings.