August in July

The late playwright August Wilson will receive a special tribute this Sunday at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Connecticut. Actors Charles S. Dutton and S. Epatha Merkerson will perform scenes from various Wilson works.

The O’Neill has established the August Wilson Endowed Fellowship, which will secure the participation of a playwright of color in each year of their annual National Playwrights and Musical Theatre Conference.

Wilson died last year at age 60.

Dutton is a two-time Tony Award nominee for the original productions of Wilson’s Ma Raineys Black Bottom and The Piano Lesson. He also starred in the 2003 revival of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom opposite Whoopi Goldberg. His film and TV credits include Roc, The L Word, and Threshold.

Merkerson starred on Broadway in Wilson’s The Piano Lesson, for which she received a Tony Award nomination. Her other New York stage credits include Tintypes, F…ing A, and Birdie Blue. She won an Emmy Award, among many other honors, for her performance in HBO’s Lackawanna Blues. In addition, Merkerson has spent the past 13 years as Lt. Anita Van Buren on Law & Order.

Then on July 31, the Signature Theatre Company will begin previews for Seven Guitars, one of three consecutive Wilson plays to be staged in this, their 15th Anniversary season.

Seven Guitars will be directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson and stars Kevin Carroll, Cassandra Freeman, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Brenda Pressley, Lance Reddick, Roslyn Ruff, and Charles Weldon.

In November, Signature Theatre will stage Two Trains Running, then King Hedley II in February. Casts have not yet been announced.

3 comments ↓

#1 Waddie G. on 07.21.06 at 10:20 pm

This should be a good event, plus I am glad to seee that people remember August Wilson

#2 taylor Siluw on 07.22.06 at 9:03 am

This seems like an awesome event. I love love LOVE S. Epatha!!! And Dutton’s no joke either.

#3 David E. Patton on 07.24.06 at 12:43 pm

I have yet to see a August Wilson play. They do come to St. Louis but it was in the 80s last that I saw any play at all. I use to go to plays but as of late I haven felt the need to do so.