James A. Williams News

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BWW Review:  MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at TRT is a Must-See ShowBWW Review: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at TRT is a Must-See Show
by Marina Kennedy - Sep 28, 2016

Start the fall theater season off right. Get your tickets for August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom now at Two River Theater through October 9th. The superb direction of Ruben Santiago-Hudson along with a stellar cast makes it a must-see production. (more...)

Photo Flash: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Two River TheaterPhoto Flash: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Two River Theater
by BWW News Desk - Sep 14, 2016

Two River Theater (Artistic Director John Dias, Managing Director Michael Hurst) presents August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The press opening is Friday, September 16 at 8pm and performances will continue throughSunday, October 9 in Two River's Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank, NJ.  Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 ortworivertheater.org. (more...)

BWW Interview:  Chante Adams in August Wilson's MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at TRT 9/10 to 10/9BWW Interview: Chante Adams in August Wilson's MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at TRT 9/10 to 10/9
by Marina Kennedy - Sep 8, 2016

Two River Theater launches its 2016/2017 season with August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' from 9/10 to 10/9. The show is directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Broadwayworld.com interviewed Chante Adams who will play Dussie Mae in the show. (more...)

Playwrights' Center Announces 45th Anniversary SeasonPlaywrights' Center Announces 45th Anniversary Season
by BWW News Desk - Sep 7, 2016

Since its founding in 1971, the Playwrights' Center has been imagining theater forward. For decades it has been one of the nation's most important organizations for developing new plays and launching the careers of playwrights. (more...)

MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starring Arnetia Walker, to Launch Two River Theater's 2016-17 SeasonMA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starring Arnetia Walker, to Launch Two River Theater's 2016-17 Season
by BWW News Desk - Aug 25, 2016

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, launches its 2016/17 Season with an extended four-week run of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. (more...)

Arnetia Walker, Michael Cumpsty and More Set for MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Two River TheaterArnetia Walker, Michael Cumpsty and More Set for MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Two River Theater
by BWW News Desk - Jul 21, 2016

Two River Theater announces the cast and creative team for its production of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The production will run September 10-October 9, 2016, with the opening night on Friday, September 16 at 8pm. (more...)

McKnight Theater Artist Fellows to Debut Works in Progress, 6/28McKnight Theater Artist Fellows to Debut Works in Progress, 6/28
by BWW News Desk - Jun 13, 2016

2015-16 McKnight Theater Artist Fellows Aimee K. Bryant and James A. Williams will present selections from theatrical works in progress on June 28 at 7 p.m. at the Southern Theater. Advance reservations for this free event are strongly recommended and can be made at pwcenter.org, info@pwcenter.org or 612-332-7481. The Southern Theater is located at 1420 South Washington Avenue in Minneapolis. (more...)

Playwrights' Center Names 2016-17 McKnight Theater Artist FellowsPlaywrights' Center Names 2016-17 McKnight Theater Artist Fellows
by BWW News Desk - May 31, 2016

The Playwrights' Center is pleased to announce the 2016-17 recipients of the McKnight Theater Artist Fellowships: (more...)

Photo Flash: AKEELAH AND THE BEE's Johannah Easley, Charles Randolph-Wright and More Celebrate Opening at Arena StagePhoto Flash: AKEELAH AND THE BEE's Johannah Easley, Charles Randolph-Wright and More Celebrate Opening at Arena Stage
by BWW News Desk - Nov 23, 2015

Fresh off its world-premiere run in Minneapolis, Children's Theatre Company's new production about an 11-year-old spelling prodigy comes to Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. The show is adapted for the stage by veteran playwright Cheryl L. West (Arena's Pullman Porter Blues, Jar the Floor), who partners with celebrated director Charles Randolph-Wright (director of Broadway's Motown and an inaugural resident playwright with Arena Stage, where he premiered his play Love in Afghanistan). AKEELAH AND THE BEE runs now through December 27, 2015 in the Kreeger Theater, and BroadwayWorld has photos from the opening night festivites at Arena Stage below! (more...)

BWW Review:  AKEELAH AND THE BEE Oozes Charm at Arena StageBWW Review: AKEELAH AND THE BEE Oozes Charm at Arena Stage
by Jennifer Perry - Nov 21, 2015

All in all, this is a thoroughly enjoyable production and one that I would highly recommend. (more...)

BWW Interview: Johannah Easley and Aimee K. Bryant Cast a 'Spell' at Arena Stage in AKEELAH AND THE BEE!BWW Interview: Johannah Easley and Aimee K. Bryant Cast a 'Spell' at Arena Stage in AKEELAH AND THE BEE!
by Ellen Burns - Nov 16, 2015

'People are complex,' muses Aimee K. Grant, who plays Akeelah's mom, Gail, in AKEELAH AND THE BEE, the new musical at Arena Stage when I sat down with her and her on-stage daughter, 17-year old Johannah Easley (Akeelah) to talk about their experiences with the show. Increasing understanding within and among people is the power of theater, we agree, and Akeelah definitely offers up a story of complex people, young and old. Based on the wildly popular 2006 film of the same name, it's the story of a determined young girl from a difficult situation, competing in the Scripps National Spelling Bee. Akeelah's life is filled with challenges, as are many people's, and that's where this story resonates. Although a tale of triumph over adversity may not seem a new one, each person's story is different, and Akeelah's has layers that will be relatable to many in the audience. (more...)

AKEELAH AND THE BEE Stage Adaptation Coming to Arena StageAKEELAH AND THE BEE Stage Adaptation Coming to Arena Stage
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 2015

Fresh off its world-premiere run in Minneapolis, where Star Tribune declared "Akeelah and the Bee triumphs," Children's Theatre Company's new production about an 11-year-old spelling prodigy comes to Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater. The show is adapted for the stage by veteran playwright Cheryl L. West (Arena's Pullman Porter Blues, Jar the Floor), who partners with celebrated director Charles Randolph-Wright (director of Broadway's Motown and an inaugural resident playwright with Arena Stage, where he premiered his play Love in Afghanistan). Akeelah and the Bee runs November 13-December 27, 2015 in the Kreeger Theater. (more...)

BWW Reviews: Pillsbury House Theatre's Moving THE GOSPEL OF LOVINGKINDESS Provides a Bit of Hope for a Weary WorldBWW Reviews: Pillsbury House Theatre's Moving THE GOSPEL OF LOVINGKINDESS Provides a Bit of Hope for a Weary World
by Jill Schafer - Jun 3, 2015

Watching the news can make one feel discouraged and hopeless about the state of the world, with increasing violence around the world and in our own neighborhoods. At Pillsbury House Theatre, they're trying to make some sense of it and provide a bit of hope by preaching THE GOSPEL OF LOVINGKINDESS, a new play by Marcus Gardley. It's beautifully and poetically written, full of life and humor that balances out the devastation and death of the situation. It's heavy, and not easy to watch at times, but so worthwhile and necessary. THE GOSPEL OF LOVINGKINDESS is one of those plays that is about so much more than theater. (more...)

BWW Reviews: Park Square Theatre is Currently Presenting Two Small Gems on its Two Stages - SHOOTING STAR and THE OTHER PLACEBWW Reviews: Park Square Theatre is Currently Presenting Two Small Gems on its Two Stages - SHOOTING STAR and THE OTHER PLACE
by Jill Schafer - Apr 13, 2015

I don't know if you've noticed, but there's something exciting going on in downtown St. Paul. In what's usually regarded as the sleepier of the Twin Cities, Park Square Theatre has recently opened a second stage in the Historic Hamm Building on lovely 7th Place. This extra space has allowed them to do some great things in the last few months, including producing regional premieres, partnering with local theater companies (look for shows by Sandbox Theatre, Theatre Pro Rata, and Girl Friday Productions this spring and summer), an increased focus on diversity, and continuing their commitment to students. They currently have three fantastic shows playing on the two stages, including student matinees of an effectively condensed ROMEO AND JULIET. But for us grown-ups, the two stages offer two very different but both excellent choices: the bittersweet comedy SHOOTING STAR on the Proscenium Stage, and the emotional drama THE OTHER PLACE on the new Boss Stage. Read on to make your choice, but hurry, both shows close on April 19. (more...)

Park Square to Present Sharr White's THE OTHER PLACE Next MonthPark Square to Present Sharr White's THE OTHER PLACE Next Month
by BWW News Desk - Mar 19, 2015

Park Square continues its inaugural two-stage season next month with Sharr White's psychological thriller, THE OTHER PLACE. (more...)

Park Square's 2015-16 Theatre Season Features Two World PremieresPark Square's 2015-16 Theatre Season Features Two World Premieres
by BWW News Desk - Mar 17, 2015

Midway through its first season producing on two stages, Park Square Theatre shows no sign of slowing down with its 2015-2016 theatre season. In addition to a range of area and regional premieres, the company is commissioning two brand new works - one for each stage - from Joel Sass (Great Expectations) and Christina Ham and Regina Marie Williams (Nina Simone: Four Women). The line-up also includes the first Midwest licensed production of an ingenious miniature musical that will delight mystery lovers, two family-friendly holiday treats, and new productions by two of Park Square's Theatres in Residence, Sandbox Theatre and Theatre Pro Rata. The season will conclude with a flash of mature flesh as nine leading actresses bare all in Calendar Girls by Tom Firth. (more...)

Goodman Theatre Announces March-April 2015 Lineup for Citywide August Wilson CelebrationGoodman Theatre Announces March-April 2015 Lineup for Citywide August Wilson Celebration
by BWW News Desk - Dec 17, 2014

Goodman Theatre, in collaboration with Chicago's various off-Loop theaters and Northwestern University, unveils partial programming in its spring 2015 citywide "August Wilson Celebration" -- an extensive retrospective of the late playwright's life, artistry and influence on American culture. The seven-week Celebration takes place in March and April 2015 on dual landmark occasions: the 70th anniversary of the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright's birth and the 10th anniversary of his death. (more...)

Nearly 300 Minnesota Artists to Mount 18 Productions at Park Square in 2014-15Nearly 300 Minnesota Artists to Mount 18 Productions at Park Square in 2014-15
by BWW News Desk - Sep 5, 2014

With Sexy Laundry opening tonight, the entire cast roster for the theatre's biggest season is almost complete. Nearly 300 Minnesota artists - including actors, directors, designers and technical operators - will mount 18 productions on two stages. The season lineup confirms Park Square's commitment to the work of women writers like Amy Herzog, Michele Riml and Alice Walker. The casting emphasizes Park Square as a home for local artists of color, from returning favorites like James A. Williams, T. Mychael Rambo and Regina Williams to dozens of debuts like Dominique Wooten, Kurt Kwan and Sarah Ochs. (more...)

Photo Flash: Jay O. Sanders' UNEXPLORED INTERIOR at the Museum of Jewish HeritagePhoto Flash: Jay O. Sanders' UNEXPLORED INTERIOR at the Museum of Jewish Heritage
by BWW News Desk - May 21, 2014

In recognition of the 20 year anniversary of the genocide against the Tutsi in Rwanda, actor/writer Jay O. Sanders' play Unexplored Interior, directed by James Glossman, received an unprecedented presentation on Sunday, May 11 at the Museum of Jewish Heritage (www.mjhnyc.org). This first of its kind, technological and creative partnership with Google+, allowed the play to be seen in NYC and at the Kigali Genocide Memorial Center (www.kigaligenocidememorial.org) in Rwanda. Scroll down for photos! (more...)

Photo Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue CompetitionPhoto Flash: More Shots of Winner Ashley Herbert, Denzel Washington and More at 2014 National August Wilson Monologue Competition
by BWW News Desk - May 7, 2014

Jujamcyn Theaters and True Colors Theatre Company (Kenny Leon, Co-Founding Artistic Director) have announced that Ashley Herbert from Boston has won first place at the 6th Annual August Wilson Monologue Competition held on Monday, May 5th at the August Wilson Theatre (245 West 52nd Street). Robert Upton from Chicago was the runner-up, and an honorable mention went to Atiauna Grant from Atlanta. Denzel Washington surprised the audience with a special appearance during the awards ceremony, and greeted all of the contestants afterwards. The event, which was free and open to the public, featured high school students from Atlanta, Boston, Chicago, Los Angeles, New York, Pittsburgh, Portland and Seattle performing monologues by the late, legendary American playwright. Scroll down for photos from the competition! (more...)

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