August Wilson's ascendent King Hedley II will have its East Coast premiere at the Huntington Theatre Company in Boston, May 19-June 18, it was announced Jan. 20.
The new work by the country's foremost African-American playwright will be directed by Marion McClinton, who is shepherding the current co production between Pittsburgh Public Theater and Seattle Repertory Theatre.
The Huntington cast may include some of the Pittsburgh-Seattle company, but no cast announcement has been made. The Pittsburgh staging closed Jan. 16 and the Seattle staging opens in March.
The same design team of the world premiere (set by David Gallo, costumes by Toni-Leslie James and lighting by Donald Holder) will be creating the world of the Huntington production.
Wilson will be on hand in Boston, shaping the play toward a possible future on Broadway, where most of his cycle of plays about the black American 20th-century experience have landed. There has been no announcement about any commercial future for the show. The New York Times gave the Pittsburgh staging an encouraging review. Official opening for the Huntington production will be May 24. The troupe had previously announced "a Wilson play" in the season-closer slot, but the pieces came together for King Hedley in recent months. Fences had also been mulled.
Over the past 14 years, Huntington has staged Wilson's Jitney (directed by McClinton), Joe Turner's Come & Gone, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars and Two Trains Running.
The drama takes place in 1985 in the Hill District neighborhood of Pittsburgh, the setting for most of Pittsburgh-native Wilson's plays, and tells the story of King and his friend, Mister, who try to make ends meet by selling refrigerators. King lives with his wife, Tonya, and his mother Ruby (a holdover character from Seven Guitars). Secrets and shared legacies are unearthed when Elmore, a suave gambler from Ruby's past, comes to visit.
Tickets are $10-$52. For information, call the Huntington box office at (617) 266-0800 or visit the website at www.bu.edu/huntington.