Court Theatre Extends SEVEN GUITARS Through Feb 16

Court Theatre announces the extension of Seven Guitars written by August Wilson, and directed by Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson. The production will now run through Sunday, February 16, 2014 at Court Theatre, 5535 S. Ellis Avenue. Tickets for the week-long extension are now on sale.

Resident Artist Ron OJ Parson returns to Court Theatre to direct Seven Guitars, August Wilson's haunting Century Cycle play about fate, justice, and the Blues. In the backyard of a Pittsburgh tenement in 1948, six characters gather to mourn the missing seventh: Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton, a blues guitarist with feet of clay who died with fame and celebrity just beyond his reach. Stitched with vibrant swatches of American blues lyrics and harmonized through a seven-piece ensemble, Wilson's signature voice is at its richest in Seven Guitars as it seeks to explore the disappointingly dissonant harmonies we sometimes find in the circular nature of hope, violence, fate, and justice.

"With his recent productions of The Mountaintop, A Raisin in the Sun, and Detroit '67, Ron OJ Parson has been providing Chicago audiences with a nonstop rush of brilliant, powerful performances," says Charles Newell. "I'm thrilled that Ron will be kicking off the new year here at Court Theatre, his artistic home, with August Wilson's Seven Guitars. This production not only represents a new installment in Court's longstanding tradition of staging vibrant interpretations of Wilson's Century Cycle plays, it also marks a notable artistic milestone for Ron himself: it is the only play by August Wilson that Ron has yet to work on as either a director or actor. I'm also so pleased to have such a strong cast of talented actors, both new and familiar to Court audiences, taking on such memorable roles, including Allen Gilmore as Hedley and Felicia Fields as Louise."

Winner of the New York Drama Critics Circle Best Play Award, Seven Guitars features Jerod Haynes (Canewell), Kelvin Roston Jr. (Floyd Barton), Felicia P. Fields (Louise), Ronald Conner (Red Carter), Erynn Mackenzie (Ruby), Ebony Wimbs (Vera) and Allen Gilmore (Hedley).

The creative team for Seven Guitars includes Regina Garcia (scenic design), Christine Pascual (costume design), Marc Stubblefield (lighting design), Joshua Horvath (sound design), and Martine Kei Green-Rogers (dramaturgy). Sara Gammage is the production stage manager.

Ronald L. Conner (Red Carter) was last seen at Court Theatre in the 2009 production of August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, directed by Ron OJ Parson. The Piano Lesson received a Jeff nomination for Best Production and Conner received the Black Theatre Alliance Award for Best Lead Actor. He was also seen at Court Theatre in The First Breeze of Summer. Ron is a proud ensemble member of Congo Square Theatre where he has appeared in The Colored Museum, Deep Azure, The African Company Presents Richard III, and The Talented Tenth (2008 BTAA Best Actor in an Ensemble). Other Chicago theaters include Chicago Shakespeare, Urban Theatre Company, and Pegasus Players. Regional credits include: New Harmony Theatre, Geva Theatre of Rochester, Ensemble Theatre of Cincinnati, and The St. Louis Black Rep where Ronald has just finished performing four shows in repertory and a one man show where he played over 40 characters. Ron's most notable television and film credits are The Dark Knight and the Coors Light National NFL Campaign (2007-2010).

Felicia Fields (Louise) makes her Court Theatre debut in Seven Guitars. Felicia is best known for her portrayal of Sofia in the Broadway and first touring company of the musical The Color Purple, for which she received a Tony nomination, Clarence Derwitt Award, and several other awards. She has performed at the Marriott, Goodman, Drury Lane, Broadway in Chicago, Northlight, Theatre at the Center, as well as many productions throughout the United States and Canada including commercials, voice-overs, and films. When not in the theatre she enjoys working with "The Smiley Tillmon Band" as well as her own Blues and R&B productions.

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