Lindo Directs Bougere in Berkeley Rep's Joe Turner; Cast Announced

News   Lindo Directs Bougere in Berkeley Rep's Joe Turner; Cast Announced Casting has been announced for Berkeley Repertory Theatre's new production of August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone, directed by respected actor Delroy Lindo, who was nominated for a 1988 Tony Award for his performance as Herald Loomis in the Broadway production.

Staged in the Rep's Roda Theatre, the revival begins previews Oct. 31, opens Nov. 5 and closes Dec. 14.

Joe Turner is produced in association with the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre and executive producers Wayne Jordan and Quinn Delaney and Felicia Woytak and Steve Rasmussen.

In the play, haunted by seven years on a chain gang, Herald Loomis appears in Pittsburgh to reunite his family, according to the Rep. "Surrounded by the vibrant tenants of a black boarding house, he fights for his soul and his song in the dawning days of a century without slavery."

The cast includes Teagle F. Bougere (Berkeley Rep's Blue Door, Broadway's A Raisin in the Sun George C. Wolfe's The Tempest); as Herald Loomis; Kenya Brome as Martha Loomis; Don Guillory as Jeremy Furlow; Barry Shabaka Henley as Seth Holly; Dan Hiatt as Rutherford Selig; Brent Jennings as Bynum Walker; Erica Peeples as Molly Cunningham; Tiffany Michelle Thompson as Mattie Campbell; and Kim Staunton as Bertha Holly).

Lindo directed last year's Rep production of Tanya Barfield's Blue Door. "Joe Turner's Come and Gone is one of the great works of theatre," Lindo stated. "It's held a prominent and special place in my heart and life, since I first acted in it in 1986. Appearing on Broadway later, and being nominated for awards, was luxurious icing on the cake. I would have gone to the ends of the earth to act in this play. It was my destiny. It belongs at the very apex of my experiences, both as an actor and as a human being, and will always remain so. To say I'm profoundly grateful and moved doesn't adequately express how deeply I feel about revisiting the work as its director. As with Blue Door, I and the company hope to give Bay Area audiences an evening they'll long remember."

Wilson (1945–2005) wrote a ten-play cycle exploring the heritage and experience of African-Americans, decade-by-decade, through the 20th century: Fences, Gem of the Ocean, Jitney, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, King Hedley II, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Radio Golf, Seven Guitars and Two Trains Running. His plays have garnered numerous awards including two Pulitzer Prizes, the Tony Award for Best Play, two Drama Desk Awards, an Olivier Award, and eight prizes for Best Play from the New York Drama Critics Circle — including one for Joe Turner. They have been produced on Broadway, at theatres across the country, and around the world. Wilson himself earned many honors, including Guggenheim and Rockefeller Fellowships, the Heinz Award and the Whiting Writers Award. He was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, and New Dramatists. In 1999 he was awarded a National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, and he was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame. On Oct. 16, 2005, the Broadway theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street was renamed the August Wilson Theatre in honor of his deep legacy to American drama.

The creative team includes Scott Bradley (scenic design), Reggie Ray (costume design), William H. Grant III (lighting design), Cliff Caruthers (sound design), Dwight Andrews (music director) and stage manager Cynthia Cahill.

The Roda Theatre is located at 2015 Addison Street, in Berkley, CA. For tickets or more information call (510) 647-2949 or toll-free at (888) 4-BRT-TIX or visit berkeleyrep.org.

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Berkeley Rep was honored with the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional Theatre in 1997.

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