Chisholm, Dutton, Lennix and Santiago-Hudson Set for Kennedy Center Wilson Celebration

News   Chisholm, Dutton, Lennix and Santiago-Hudson Set for Kennedy Center Wilson Celebration Several actors have joined the roster of artists who will take part in the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts' upcoming celebration of the work of the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, which is entitled August Wilson's 20th Century.
Radio Golf's Harry Lennix will part of the Kennedy Center's August Wilson celebration.
Radio Golf's Harry Lennix will part of the Kennedy Center's August Wilson celebration. Photo by harrylennix.com

As previously reported, Wilson's ten-play cycle, which chronicles the African-American experience in the 20th century, will be offered in the Kennedy Center's Terrace Theatre. August Wilson's 20th Century will play the D.C. venue March 4-April 6.

Playbill.com has learned that the actors who will be part of the productions of the ten Wilson plays currently include Cherise Booth, Anthony Chisholm, Rosalyn Coleman, Keith David, Charles S. Dutton, Hassan El-Amin, Lynda Gravátt, Stephen McKinley Henderson, Russell Hornsby, John Earl Jelks, Ebony Jo-Ann, Ron Cephas Jones, Harry Lennix, Anthony Mackie, Bill Nunn, Afemo Omilami, Latanya Richardson, Roslyn Ruff, Ruben Santiago-Hudson, Raynor Scheine, Heather Simms, Jerry Whiddon, Michole Briana White and James Williams. Complete casting will be announced shortly; the company will feature a core group of 26 actors who will perform in at least three Wilson plays.

Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson Hudson will direct Wilson's final play, Radio Golf. Israel Hicks, chairman of the theatre arts program at Rutgers University, will stage Two Trains Running. Kenny Leon will direct the staged readings of Gem of the Ocean, Fences and The Piano Lesson. Lou Bellamy, the artistic director of Minneapolis' Penumbra Theatre, will direct Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, while Tony winner Gordon Davidson will direct Jitney. Todd Kreidler, the associate artistic director of Atlanta's True Colors Theater Company, will helm Joe Turner's Come and Gone, and Derrick Sanders — artistic director of Chicago's Congo Square Theatre — will direct Seven Guitars and King Hedley II.

The creative team for the mammoth undertaking includes David Gallo (sets), Reggie Ray (costumes) and Allen Lee Hughes (lighting).

August Wilson (April 27, 1945-Oct. 2, 2005) authored 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. These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the 20th century. Wilson's plays have been produced at regional theatres across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Wilson's works garnered many awards, including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars and Jitney. For more information visit www.kennedy-center.org.