HOUSTON -- Alex Allen Morris, a resident company actor of The Alley Theatre in Houston, is currently featured in August Wilson's Seven Guitars, which continues at the Alley through Mar. 14. Fans of the respected thespian, not to mention the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, are invited to attend either of two free discussions Morris will be leading about the play, the first to be held on Saturday, February 28, at Carnegie Regional Library, the second on Saturday, March 7, at Scenic Woods Library, both occurring from 11 AM - 1 PM.
"Like all of his plays, Seven Guitars gives an African-American voice to history," Morris explains. "But he tells it through the mouths of plain people, like you and me. Therefore, anybody can come to the discussions. To learn. And to teach others." Attendants are encouraged to have read the play beforehand, though doing so isn't necessary. Morris will recite passages from the script and interpret them. He will invite the audience to do the same.
Morris plans to address the playwright's background and social significance, as well as offer anecdotes, since he has met Wilson and attended one of the (in)famous Wilson-Brustein debates. In one company or another, most prominently the Alley and The Ensemble Theatre, the latter being the sole professional African-American troupe in Houston, and most improbably at the English Theatre of Frankfurt, Germany, Morris has acted in or directed all but one of Wilson's plays.
Students who attend will receive one complimentary ticket to Seven Guitars after the forum.
A co-production with Seattle Repertory Theatre (where it played this past January), Seven Guitars continues Wilson's exploration of the African-American experience decade by decade in the 20th century. This addition to the cycle takes place in Pittsburgh, 1948. An ensemble of voices, it centers on Floyd "Schoolboy" Baron (played by Morris), a blues guitarist from Pittsburgh pursuing a recording contract in Chicago. Friends and lovers, neighbors and band mates converge and diverge as Schoolboy, a rogue with a good heart, tries to get his professional and personal lives in order. Seven Guitars continues through Mar. 14 at the Alley Theatre in Houston. For tickets, $31 - $46, call (713) 228-8421
For information about the discussion on Saturday, February 28, at Carnegie Regional Library, call (713) 226-4445. For information about the discussion on Saturday, March 7 at Scenic Woods Library, call (713) 635-8103.