Artists Rep's 30th Anniversary season continues with the Portland Premiere of August Wilson's Seven Guitars directed by Kevin Jones. The rhythm of 1948 Pittsburgh comes to life with August Wilson's seven African American characters whose backyard chords and Chicago dreams play out a yearning whisper and an indignant refrain. The play starts October 9 and runs through November 11 on the Morrison Stage, 1515 SW Morrison, Portland, Oregon.
Is where you are ever where you hoped you'd be? Buried romance, resentments and aspirations are unearthed in these everyday lives much like epic lyrics to a moving song. The rooster crows for justice, the musicians weave like boxers as hope, pride and desperation partner to waltz away the American Dream. Seven Guitars is the sixth play in August Wilson's set of 10 plays exploring the African-American experience in the 20th Century.
"August Wilson wants to show us the color, lushness and muscularity of life," said Director Kevin Jones. "Blues lyrics are written into the script and make the music of the play equal to the words – a separate character."
Kevin E. Jones, director, is happy and honored to be working with Artist Repertory Theatre on this project. He most recently directed Romulus Linney's "A Lesson Before Dying" at Profile Theatre. Prior to that, Jones directed the highly acclaimed production of August Wilson's "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" at Portland Playhouse. Jones is the principal conjurer and co-creator of The August Wilson Red Door Project – an organization that uses arts as a catalyst to transform the racial ecology of Portland. He has enjoyed working on the American stage for more than 30 years.
Regional theatres include: Actor's Conservatory Theater, in San Francisco, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Repertory Theatre of St Louis, Asolo Theatre, in Saratoga, Florida, Florida Studio Theatre, Fountain Theatre, (Received an LA Critics Circle award - Actor in a Lead Role); Los Angeles Theatre Center, East West Players (LA Critics Circle Award - Actor in a Supporting Role); Great Lakes Shakespeare, Magic Theatre, (San Francisco); Berkeley Repertory Theatre, Arkansas Repertory Theatre, The Stanford Actor's Project. Locally, he has performed at Artists Rep, Portland Center Stage, Third Rail Repertory and Portland Playhouse, where he received a Drammy Award for Outstanding Performance in a Supporting Role for his heartwarming performance of "Old Joe" in Radio Golf by August Wilson. His TV and film credits include; Dr. Quinn, Say Uncle, Deadly Outbreak, War Games, Sweet Valley High and The Bachelor.
Favorite August Wilson Quote:
MISTER: Why you save all them newspapers? What you gonna do with them?
STOOL PIGEON: See I know what went on. I ain't saying what goes on – what went on. You got to know that. How you gonna get on the other side of the valley if you don't know that?"
-August Wilson, King Hedley II, p. 28.
Written by: August Wilson
Directed by: Kevin Jones
Featuring: Victor Mack, Michael J. Asberry, RaMona Lisa Alexander, Gayle Samuels, Mujahid Abdul-Rashid, Lance McQueen, Ashley Williams, Anya Pearson
Performance Dates: Oct. 9 – Nov. 11
Tuesday through Sunday at 7:30pm, Sunday at 2pm
Wednesday matinee – Oct. 31 at 11am
Opening Night - Friday, Oct. 12 at 7:30pm
'Pay What You Can' First Preview - Oct. 9 at 7:30pm