Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park Presents GEE'S BEND 3/12-4/9
Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park will continue its Marx Theatre season with GEE'S BEND by Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder. This heartwarming and powerful production begins previews in The Playhouse's Robert S. Marx Theatre March 12 and continues through April 9.
GEE'S BEND is the tale of the Pettway women, quilters from the isolated community of Gee's Bend, Alabama. The story begins in 1939, the dawn of an era of African-American land ownership. The narrative then advances to 1965, in the midst of the Civil Rights struggles and an historic visit to Gee's Bend by the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr., which preceded the violent Selma marches. It concludes in 2002, on the eve of the unveiling of "The Quilts of Gee's Bend" exhibition organized by the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston.
GEE'S BEND was commissioned by the Alabama Shakespeare Festival's Southern Writers Project, where it received a staged reading in 2006 and premiered in January 2007. It has been produced at the Denver Center Theatre Company, The Cleveland Play House, Philadelphia's Arden Theatre, Hartford Stage and Kansas City Repertory Theatre, among others. Elyzabeth Gregory Wilder's play, The Furniture of Home, which deals with the Gulf Coast recovery in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, premiered at the Alabama Shakespeare Festival in 2009. In 2011, the Alabama Shakespeare Festival will produce her play, The Flag Maker of Market Street, directed by Leah Gardiner. Her play, The Bone Orchard, was commissioned by the Denver Center Theatre Company and workshopped at the Perry Mansfield New Works Festival (2009). Other plays include Fresh Kills at The Royal Court Theatre, directed by Tony nominee Wilson Milam, The First Day of Hunting Season at Ensemble Studio Theatre and The Spirit of Ecstasy. The American Theatre Critics Association honored Wilder with the Osborn Award for an Emerging Playwright in 2008.
According to Wilder, "GEE'S BEND has receiveda great response from audiences across the country. Regardless of age, race or geography people are able to connect with these women on some level. People are always telling me stories about their experience with an old family quilt, or about the women in their family. There is something universal about the story."
The cast for GEE'S BEND includes Bakesta King as Sadie, Nikkole Salter (In The Continuum) as Nella, Cherene Snow as Alice/Asia and Quentin Earl Darrington as Macon.
Derrick Sanders will direct. Other members of the production team for GEE'S BEND include Jack Magaw (Set Designer), Reggie Ray (Costume Designer), Thom Weaver (Lighting Designer), Justin Ellington (Sound Designer/Composer) and Timothy W. Carpenter (Music Director).
Prices for GEE'S BEND range from $25 - $64, depending on day and seat location. Tickets are just $25 for the preview performances at 8 p.m. Saturday, March 12; 2 p.m. Sunday, March 13; 7:30 p.m. Tuesday, March 15; and 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, March 16. Some restrictions apply. The official opening night is Thursday, March 17 at 8 p.m.
Performances take place at 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 4 and 8 p.m. on Saturdays and 2 p.m. and 7 p.m. on Sundays.
Tickets to GEE'S BEND are on sale now. For more information, call The Playhouse box office at 513/421-3888 (toll-free in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana at 800/582-3208) or visit www.cincyplay.com. Call 513/345-2248 for TDD accessibility.