Skip to main content Skip to footer site map

Juneteenth Legacy Theatre Presents August Wilson's WOMEN Mar 25-Apr 10

Juneteenth Legacy Theatre presents August Wilson's Women At The Nuyorican Poets Café

August Wilson's female characters play a vital role in each work of his ten-play cycle chronicling the African-American experience. Yet all too often these roles are overshadowed by the showier male characters therein. Now these ladies are given a fresh look in August Wilson's Women, a series of excerpts from the playwright's works, calling attention to these very important
personalities. Adapted and directed by Lorna Littleway and presented by the Juneteenth Legacy Theatre, August Wilson's Women will take place at the Nuyorican Poets Café, located at 236 East 3rd Street, beginning on March 25th. Members of the press are invited to all
performances.

Among the characters presented are 14 women who carry the weight of their life's experience with them, for better or worse, such as Aunt Ester (The Gem of The Ocean), who uses her special knowledge to point others in the direction they need to go; Ma Rainey (Ma Rainey's Black
Bottom), a successful singer who steadfastly sticks to what she knows; Berniece (The Piano Lesson), guardian of the family legacy who may be holding onto the past a bit too tightly; and
Rose (Fences), a loving wife to whom family and loyalty is another name for sacrifice. There are also those who still brim with youthful experience and questions, such as Black Mary (Gem
of the Ocean) and Vera (Seven Guitars). On the other end of the chronological spectrum is Mame (Radio Golf), a woman in a strong position of authority outside the home, who has moved on from the past, and her heritage, and who intends to break from it once and for all.

"I'm fascinated by the women in Wilson's plays," Littleway notes. "Time and again they are the constants in his works; offering advice, support and insight for the various male protagonists. Yet because it's the male characters who transform the most spiritually (think of the final scene in almost every Wilson play), the women all too often are left on the sidelines. That's why I came up with the idea for this show: to give the women their due."

In addition to dramatic and comical scenes from the various plays, the show also has the cast singing blues and spirituals a cappella, to serve as bridges between the different segments.

The cast of August Wilson's Women consists of Thursday Farrar*, Jannie
Jones*, Kimberley Dalton Mitchell,* Michael Jones and Jamil A.C. Mangan. The show is being presented under the Actors' Equity approved Cabaret Experimental Code.

August Wilson (1945-2005) left as his legacy a series of 10 plays chronicling the African-American
experience for each decade of the 20th century. His works, in chronological order, are:
Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II and Radio Golf. (All but Jitney
have appeared on Broadway.) Mr. Wilson won the Tony Award for Best Play for Fences, and the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Fences and The Piano Lesson.

A playwright and director, Lorna Littleway's directing credits include a hefty dose of August Wilson's plays, among them: Seven Guitars, Radio Golf, Fences and Ma Rainey's Black Bottom. She was also a participant at August Wilson's National Conference on the State of Black Theater in 1999. Additional directing credits include Willie and Esther, In The Continuum, Miss
Evers' Boys, Fable of the Grandmama Tree, Member of the Wedding, and Robert
Johnson Trick the Devil. Other plays include: Bang! Bang! Bang!, Young Sistas, The Lives of Young Black Folks, Lil Chat With God, and Motion and Location. She has taught and directed at Queens College, is a member of the Lincoln Center Directors Lab and a past president of the Black Theatre
Network (BTN).

Thursday Farrar* B'way: Aida, Parade, Once Upon a Mattress. Off-B'way: Shlomo, Under the Bridge, The Audience, As Thousands Cheer, Li'l Abner, St. Louis Woman, Golden Boy, Hallelujah Baby!. Nat'l tours: Les Miserables, Carousel. Regional: First Wives Club, Merrily We Roll Along, Kiss Me Kate, Urinetown, Hairspray, Into the Woods. TV: All My Children, 30 Rock, The Cosby Mysteries, Ugly Betty. Film: Brother, Only Time Will Tell, Basketball Diaries, City Hall. Recordings: You Oughta Be On Broadway, a Richard Rogers Collection.

Jannie Jones*: B'way: The Full Monty and National tour of All Shook Up. Off-B'way and regional credits include, Mama I Want To Sing, Faith's Journey, Don't Bother Me, I Can't Cope, Hair, The Colored Museum, Blues In The Night, Ain't Nothing But the Blues, All Nite Strut, Crowns. She has received critical acclaim for her one-woman shows: My Castle's Rockin: The Alberta
Hunter Story, Ethel Waters: His Eye Is On The Sparrow. TV: All My Children, Guiding Light, Martin, Sinbad. She can be heard on Teddy Pendergrass' latest release, Say It, and on the last CD of the late, great Barry White, Practice What You Preach.

Kimberley Dalton Mitchell* Credits: Third World, Sweet SweetBacks Bad Asss Song, The Vagina Monologues, Ain't Supposed to Die a Natural Death, Romeo and Juliet, HAIR. National Tour: Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad, Cabrini Greene, Love Machine, The R.E.S.P.E.C.T. Project , Little Tales: African Folktales. Film: SEALED (producer/writer). Check www.KimberleyDaltonMitchell.com for festival updates.

Michael Jones is an actor/writer/teacher. Credits: 365 Plays/365 Days, Two Gentlemen of Verona, Black Girl, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest. Film: No Tips No Love, A House with Many Windows, An Unremarkable Life (with Shelly Winters and Patricia Neal). Writing: It Takes a Village to...Hell, Soiled Wings, Blood, Family Matters: A Play about Prostate Cancer, Josh: The Black Babe Ruth.
Screenplays: Hind Sight is 20/20, Where's the Beef?, Love and Bondage. Commissions: My Skin, a tour to the New York Public Schools.


Jamil A.C. Mangan is an actor, director, and teaching artist. Theatre credits include Camp Logan, What Would Jesus Do?, The Greeks, My Lord What A Morning, The Piano Lesson, My Soul
Is A Witness , The Engagement and Romeo & Juliet. Mangan has appeared on Comcast Sportsnet 76ers, The Discovery Channel, commercials for Doritos & Klondike, Inc., and in the feature films Head Trauma and A Dangerous Place.


Juneteenth Legacy Theatre's mission is to entertain, educate, enrich and empower communities of artists and audiences by developing and producing, exclusively, new and original works about the African-American experience and its legacy. They provide creative opportunities and mentoring relationships for artists; promote theatre art as a force for social change and a career choice for African-Americans. The company produces two full plays each year, a Bold Journey Tour of bio-dramas and cabarets, and an annual festival of one-acts. Over the past eleven years, the company has produced nearly 150 new works as full productions and staged readings at such venues as
the New York International Fringe Festival (The Lives of Young Black Folks), the Midtown InterNational Theatre Festival (Motion and Location), and the Fresh Fruit Festival (Passing Ceremonies). Juneteenth derives its name from the traditional African-American holiday, June 19, 1865, when slaves in the western territories learned of their freedom. www.juneteenthlegacytheatre.com.

August Wilson's Women will be performed at the Nuyorican Poets Café, located at 236 East 3rd Street, (between Avenues B and C) from March 25th through April 10th.

Show times are Thursday-Saturday at 7pm. Tickets are $20.00 and can be purchased by calling
212-780-9386 or by going to www.nuyorican.org. Discounted tickets of $10.00 for Thursday performances, and $15 for students and seniors must be
purchased at the door.

 




Related Articles View More Off-Off-Broadway Stories   Shows

More Hot Stories For You