American Stage Theatre Company Names Angela Bassett Honorary Chair For Their August Wilson Century Cycle Consortium

By: Sep. 28, 2009
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American Stage Theatre Company recently announced that famous Hollywood actress and St. Petersburg native, Angela Bassett, has been named the theatre's honorary chair for their August Wilson Century Cycle Consortium.

"The Century Cycle Consortium is a group of influential members in our community that are tasked with spreading the word about American Stage's commitment to producing all ten of the late, great African-American playwright, August Wilson's, plays over a ten year period," said Todd Olson, American Stage's producing artistic director. "We are very excited to have someone of Angela Bassett's stature help us to educate our area about this exciting journey we are taking."

Bassett is an Academy and Emmy Award nominated actress, who won the Golden Globe Award for her potrayel of Tina Turner in the movie "What's Love Got to Do with It". Other movies have included, "Waiting to Exhale", "How Stella Got Her Groove Back", "Boyz ‘N the Hood", and more recently in "Tyler Perry's Meet the Browns" and "Notorious". A graduate of Boca Ciega High School, Bassett went to Yale University, were she earned her Masters of Fine Arts degree and had the opportunity to work under the direction of her long-time instructor Lloyd Richards on the world premieres of August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984) and Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1986). In 2006, she had worked on the Wilson canon again, starring in Fences alongside longtime collaborator Laurence Fishburne at the Pasadena Playhouse in California.

"American Stage does things other theatres don't dare. They are the only theatre of their size in the country to commit to producing all ten plays of the Century Cycle, chronicling the African-American experience in America throughout the 20th century," said Bassett. "I encourage you to join American Stage on this amazing project and become a member of the consortium."

FENCES is American Stage's next August Wilson play, running Sept. 25 thru Oct. 18. It is August Wilson's towering masterpiece, winner of the Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award for "Best Play". Set in 1957, FENCES explores what holds families together (and drive them apart) in a powerful story filled with humor, love, hope, failure and triumph. The play follows Troy Maxon, a former Negro League baseball star whose prime came before Jackie Robinson broke the color barrier in Major League Baseball. After Troy's rapid rise ends, he is forced to let go of his dreams and deal with his headstrong football playing son who has a chance to go so much further than he did.

Performances and ticket prices are as follows:
Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday evening curtain is at 7:30 p.m.
Friday and Saturday evening curtain is at 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday matinee curtain is at 3 p.m.

Saturday, September 19 previews are 3 and 8 p.m.
Sunday, September 20 preview is "Pay-What-You-Can" at 3 p.m.
Tuesday, September 29 is "Pay-What-You-Can" at 7:30 p.m.

Tickets prices are $26-$45 depending on date and time of performance.
Students Rush tickets are $10, 30 minutes prior to curtain.

Please call the American Stage Box Office at (727) 823-PLAY (7529)
or go to for more information and to purchase tickets.

American Stage Theatre Company is located at the Raymond James Theatre, 163 3rd Street North in the heart of downtown St. Petersburg, Florida.

American Stage Theatre Company is a not-for-profit professional theatre founded in 1977. The company's mission is to create the most satisfying live theatre in the Tampa Bay area, accessible to all members of the community. Their vision is to preserve the greatest human stories from our past, while creating the most defining stories and storytelling of our time. American Stage presents its six play Mainstage Series in its brand new, 182-seat Raymond James Theatre each year. The very popular American Stage in the Park celebrates its 25th Anniversary year. The theatre's other programming includes: "After Hours" Series, School Tour, and camps and classes for children. The Hough Family Foundation is the Season Sponsor, Raymond James is the Mainstage Sponsor, Bank of America is the Education Partner and WUSF 89.7 is the Radio Sponsor of American Stage. This production is sponsored by Alfred T. May and co-sponsored by the American Stage Theatre Company Board of Trustees and the Law Offices of Diane Bailey Morton. The August Wilson Century Cycle is sponsored by Norm and Mirella Smith, Dick and Sandi Averitt, Power Broker Magazine and the Weekly Challenger.

Photo credit Walter McBride


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