Theatre Information

Cort Theatre (New York, NY)
138 West 48th St.

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Blues diva Ma Rainey and her band have come to a Chicago studio to cut a record, but their artistic differences nearly stop the session before it starts. Full of unforgettable characters and the raw power of the blues, this 1920s installment of Wilson's groundbreaking cycle of plays confronts the issues of race, fame, and generational divides through the rhythms of the African-American South.



August Wilson (1945-2005) The most-produced African-American playwright of all time, August Wilson was a self-taught writer whose distinctive style combined poeticism and everyday slang. The plays of his remarkable Pittsburgh Cycle chronicled the black experience in America in every decade of the 20thcentury, winning two Pulitzer Prizes and redefining African-American storytelling for a generation of theatergoers.



BWW 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...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Lillias White and More in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at the Taper
by BWW News Desk - Sep 7, 2016

Now in previews, August Wilson's hard-hitting 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/ Mark Taper Forum. 'Ma Rainey...' is part of Wilson's American Century Cycle of 10 plays chronicling African American experience in 20th Century USA. BroadwayWorld has a first look at the cast in action below! (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 9/04/2016
by BWW - Sep 4, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 9/04/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

BWW 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...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 9/25/2016
by BWW - Sep 25, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 9/25/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

1st Stage's Critically Acclaimed LOBBY HERO Extended Until October 16
by BWW News Desk - Sep 22, 2016

1st Stage, Tysons Corner's award-winning professional theater, announces the extension of their critically-acclaimed production of Lobby Hero by Kenneth Lonergan, directed by 1st Stage Artistic Director, Alex Levy.   (more...)

Hartford Stage Announces Cast and Creative Team For August Wilson's THE PIANO LESSON
by BWW News Desk - Sep 21, 2016

Hartford Stage Artistic Director Darko Tresnjak and Managing Director Michael Stotts announced today the cast and creative team for August Wilson's The Piano Lesson, directed by Jade King Carroll, who helmed our critically-acclaimed production of Having Our Say: The Delaney Sisters' First 100 Years last spring. (more...)

MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM to Host Pre-Show Conversations at the Taper
by BWW News Desk - Sep 21, 2016

Center Theatre Group's Community Conversations for August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' will feature two pre-show panel discussions on September 21 and 30 from 6 to 7:30 p.m. at The Music Center Annex building, 601 W. Temple Street, in rehearsal room 'A.' (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 9/18/2016
by BWW - Sep 18, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 9/18/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

STAGE TUBE: Watch Highlights and Behind the Scenes of Lillias White and More in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at the Taper
by Stage Tube - Sep 16, 2016

August Wilson's hard-hitting 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' opened September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/ Mark Taper Forum. 'Ma Rainey...' is part of Wilson's American Century Cycle of 10 plays chronicling African American experience in 20th Century USA. BroadwayWorld has a first look at highlights of the show below, along with behind the scenes with the cast and celebrities! (more...)

MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starring Arnetia Walker, to Launch Two River Theater's 2016-17 Season
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 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...)

Photo Flash: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Two River Theater
by BWW News Desk - Sep 16, 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 Today, 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 Review: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM Offers a Searing Look at a Tension-Filled Recording Session
by Shari Barrett - Sep 15, 2016

Like all of August Wilson's plays, this one contains more dialogue than perhaps is needed, with the first act seemingly bogged down at times as you listen to four musicians (Damon Gupton as Cutler, Glynn Turman as Toledo, Keith David as Slow Dawg, Jason Dirden as Levee) stuck in a rehearsal room as they banter about life, women, music, and a much-loved pair of new shoes. It's a shame these brilliant musicians were not allowed to share their skills in more than just one song during the show as they rocked the house. Make no mistake; this play is NOT a musical but a hard-hitting drama about the inequities of life. (more...)

Photo 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...)

Photo Flash: Lillias White, Phylicia Rashad and More Celebrate MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM Opening at the Taper
by BWW News Desk - Sep 12, 2016

August Wilson's hard-hitting 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' opened September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/ Mark Taper Forum. 'Ma Rainey...' is part of Wilson's American Century Cycle of 10 plays chronicling African American experience in 20th Century USA. BroadwayWorld has photos from the opening night festivities below! (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 9/11/2016
by BWW - Sep 11, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 9/11/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starring Arnetia Walker, to Launch Two River Theater's 2016-17 Season
by BWW News Desk - Sep 10, 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...)

Coming Up This Week in Theatre - 9/10/2016
by - Sep 10, 2016

BroadwayWorld.com's Upcoming Events calendar for the week - updated on 9/10/2016. (more...)

Arnetia Walker, Michael Cumpsty and More Set for MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Starting Tonight at Two River Theater
by BWW News Desk - Sep 10, 2016

Two River Theater presents August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. The production will run tonight, September 10, through October 9, 2016, with the opening night on Friday, September 16 at 8pm. (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 10/09/2016
by BWW - Oct 9, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 10/09/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

Writers Theatre Continues 25th Anniversary Season with EAST TEXAS HOT LINKS
by BWW News Desk - Oct 3, 2016

Writers Theatre, under the leadership of Artistic Director Michael Halberstam and Executive Director Kathryn M. Lipuma, continues its 25th Anniversary Season with East Texas Hot Links, written by Eugene Lee and directed by Ron OJ Parson. The show runs October 19, 2016 - January 22, 2017 in The Gillian Theatre: 325 Tudor Court, Glencoe.  (more...)

Cherry Jones to Make West End Debut in John Tiffany's THE GLASS MENAGERIE with Michael Esper, Brian J. Smith, and Kate O'Flynn
by BWW News Desk - Oct 20, 2016

John Tiffany returns to the West End for the first time since the international critical hit Harry Potter and the Cursed Child: Parts One and Two, to bring his acclaimed production of The Glass Menagerie to the Duke of York's Theatre for a limited season. (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Los Angeles - Week of 10/02/2016
by BWW - Oct 2, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 10/02/2016 for Los Angeles (more...)

White Bear Theatre Announces Cast for TUESDAY
by BWW News Desk - Oct 10, 2016

Following £1.3m redevelopment, Kennington's White Bear Theatre reopens with Tuesday, Michael Bhim's painfully funny new play about disaffected multi cultural modern Londoners. (more...)

Upcoming Equity Auditions Sunday, May. 29
by Audition Roundup - May 29, 2016

Updated this week! Check out upcoming Equity Auditions from Sunday, May 29, 2016 for both productions in your area and around the country including what/when/where and how to audition! (more...)

Leigh Silverman, Ruben Santiago-Hudson & More to Helm Two River Theater Productions During 2016-17 Season
by BWW News Desk - Mar 29, 2016

Two River Theater, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, announces the lineup of productions for its 2016/17 Season, which will launch in September with August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, directed by Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson. Full-season 6-play subscriptions are on sale now from 732.345.1400 or 21 Bridge Avenue, Red Bank. Subscribers save 25% on tickets, receive prime seating and a number of additional benefits. Visit tworivertheater.org for more details. Single tickets will go on sale in August 2016. (more...)

Photo Coverage: Inside a Farewell Reception for Geoff Nelson and Ann Hall
by Jerri Shafer - Jun 6, 2016

A farewell reception was held at the Short North Stage for Geoff Nelson and wife Ann Hall, following Sunday's matinee performance of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. Geoff and Jon Putnam are cast members of the show, which continues through June 19. More than 60 old and new friends of Geoff and Ann's were there, many from the early days of CATCO, and from Geoff's newly-formed group, A Portable Theatre. Dana Miller, owner of Dana Lee's, provided wonderful hors d'oeuvres; Rick Hole prepared a slide show with lots of photographic memories from Geoff's many directorial and acting productions, and a HUGE cake topped off the fun event. (more...)

BWW Review: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM Shows Wilson's Legacy as a Playwright
by Paul Batterson - Jun 6, 2016

Not all theatre is designed to be an escape, a refuge from our ordinary lives. Every once-in-a-while a piece comes along that not only entertains us but makes us think. When those two elements come together, you've really got something special. (more...)

Photo Coverage: First look at Short North Stage's MA RAINEY's BLACK BOTTOM
by Jerri Shafer - Jun 3, 2016

production of this searing drama. The play is set in a run-down recording studio in Chicago in 1927. The legendary 'Mother of Blues,' Ma Rainey, is due to arrive to record a new take on a favorite song. Ma uses every trick she can muster to fight her white record producer for control of her music. Hardened by years of ill-treatment and bad deals, she's determined that 'Black Bottom', the song that bears her name, will be recorded her way. But one of her band members, a swaggering young trumpet player, tries to manipulate the producer to record instead his new hip version of the song. A battle ensues. This masterpiece is a riveting portrayal of racism, of the self-hate that racism breeds, and of racial exploitation. (more...)

'LADY DAY' & PECONG Set for Bayou Theatre Company's Third Season
by BWW News Desk - Jun 21, 2016

The Bayou Theatre Company returns with its third season entitled 'The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly: Exploring the Complexities of Womanhood'. With a season focused on female-centered stories, the season will open with Lanie Robertson's riveting one woman play with music LADY DAY AT THE EMERSON'S BAR AND GRILL, followed by PECONG by Steve Carter, a resetting of the myth of Medea. (more...)

BWW Preview: MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM Mixes Lighthearted Music with Deeper Themes
by Hannah Herner - Jun 1, 2016

The Green Room of the Garden Theater will soon be filled with fun 1920's music along with conflict and heavy themes. (more...)

Revised Preview Date For MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM at Taper
by BWW News Desk - Jul 27, 2016

Previews Now Begin September 1, 2016 Phylicia Rashad, who directed Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone" at "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" Directed by Phylicia Rashad. the Taper in 2013, will direct this groundbreaking play which depicts the racism and exploitation in the music industry through a 1927 recording session in Chicago with a legendary blues singer. "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" is inspired by the real-life Gertrude "Ma" Rainey. (more...)

Lillias White to Star in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Directed by Phylicia Rashad in Los Angeles
by BWW News Desk - Jul 21, 2016

Center Theatre Group has announced the casting for August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' which begins previews August 31, opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Mark Taper Forum. (more...)

Arnetia 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...)

Now Playing Onstage in Miami - Week of 1/31/2016
by BWW - Jan 31, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 1/31/2016 for Miami (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Miami - Week of 2/07/2016
by BWW - Feb 7, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 2/07/2016 for Miami (more...)

BWW's On This Day - February 6, 2016
by - Feb 6, 2016

Here are the Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End shows which opened on February 6 along with all of the upcoming show openings, closings and special events! (more...)

Now Playing Onstage in Miami - Week of 2/14/2016
by BWW - Feb 14, 2016

Upcoming Shows - Week of 2/14/2016 for Miami (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Lillias White, Phylicia Rashad, Keith David and More in Rehearsal for MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM in L.A.
by BWW News Desk - Aug 5, 2016

Rehearsals have begun for August Wilson's blazing masterpiece 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' which begins previews September 1, opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. BroadwayWorld has a peek at the company in rehearsal below! (more...)

Photo Flash: First Look at Lillias White, Phylicia Rashad, Keith David and More in Rehearsal for MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM in L.A.
by BWW News Desk - Aug 31, 2016

Rehearsals have begun for August Wilson's blazing masterpiece 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' which begins previews September 1, opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. BroadwayWorld has a peek at the company in rehearsal below! (more...)

Lillias White Stars in MA RAINEY'S BLACK BOTTOM, Directed by Phylicia Rashad, Beginning Tonight in Los Angeles
by BWW News Desk - Aug 31, 2016

Center Theatre Group presents August Wilson's 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' which begins previews tonight, August 31, opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Mark Taper Forum. (more...)

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Gets A Theater in the Park for the Summer
by BWW News Desk - Aug 27, 2016

August in August' is a brand new annual live performance series teaming Joseph Grant Jr., ambassador of arts and culture for the councilman and theatrical producer Andrea J. Fulton of the Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation. Joint efforts result in the mounting of August Wilson's Tony nominated Two Trains Running directed by Sabura Rashid as its upcoming offering starting August 26th 2016. The production of 'Two Trains Running' will be featured at Fulton Park in Brooklyn on Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Aug. 27 at Herbert Von King Park from 4 to 7p.m. Both performances are FREE. August in August actually began Aug. 13 with the first installation of the series 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom performed at Fulton Park in Brooklyn, produced by the Bed-Stuy Theatre Group. (more...)

BWW's On This Day - August 27, 2016
by - Aug 27, 2016

Here are the Broadway, Off-Broadway and West End shows which opened on August 27 along with all of the upcoming show openings, closings and special events! (more...)

Coming Up This Week in Theatre - 8/27/2016
by - Aug 27, 2016

BroadwayWorld.com's Upcoming Events calendar for the week - updated on 8/27/2016. (more...)

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Gets A Theater in the Park for the Summer
by BWW News Desk - Aug 26, 2016

August in August' is a brand new annual live performance series teaming Joseph Grant Jr., ambassador of arts and culture for the councilman and theatrical producer Andrea J. Fulton of the Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation. Joint efforts result in the mounting of August Wilson's Tony nominated Two Trains Running directed by Sabura Rashid as its upcoming offering starting August 26th 2016. The production of 'Two Trains Running' will be featured at Fulton Park in Brooklyn on Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Aug. 27 at Herbert Von King Park from 4 to 7p.m. Both performances are FREE. August in August actually began Aug. 13 with the first installation of the series 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom performed at Fulton Park in Brooklyn, produced by the Bed-Stuy Theatre Group. (more...)

MA 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...)

Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn Gets A Theater in the Park for the Summer
by BWW News Desk - Aug 19, 2016

August in August' is a brand new annual live performance series teaming Joseph Grant Jr., ambassador of arts and culture for the councilman and theatrical producer Andrea J. Fulton of the Anderson & Bert Cade Fulton Foundation. Joint efforts result in the mounting of August Wilson's Tony nominated Two Trains Running directed by Sabura Rashid as its upcoming offering starting August 26th 2016. The production of 'Two Trains Running' will be featured at Fulton Park in Brooklyn on Aug. 26 from 6 to 9 p.m., and Aug. 27 at Herbert Von King Park from 4 to 7p.m. Both performances are FREE. August in August actually began Aug. 13 with the first installation of the series 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom performed at Fulton Park in Brooklyn, produced by the Bed-Stuy Theatre Group. (more...)

CPCC Theatre Announces 2016/17 Season of Plays and Musicals
by BWW News Desk - Aug 15, 2016

Join CPCC Theatre for another exciting season of the best in theatre at a price the entire family can afford. (more...)

August Wilson's Boyhood Home To Be Renovated Into An Arts Center
by Michael Dale - Apr 28, 2016

The building where the great playwright spent the first thirteen years of his life had been in a state of ruin. (more...)

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