Rashad to Reprise Gem of the Ocean Role for McCarter Theatre; Amos to Co-Star

By Andrew Gans
04 Aug 2005

Phylicia Rashad in Gem of the Ocean
Phylicia Rashad in Gem of the Ocean
Photo by Craig Schwartz

Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad will reprise her role as Aunt Ester in the McCarter Theatre's upcoming production of Gem of the Ocean.

Rashad received a Tony nomination for her work in the August Wilson play, which played Broadway's Walter Kerr Theatre Nov. 23, 2004-Feb. 6, 2005. In the McCarter engagement Rashad will be joined by John Amos, best known for his work on such TV programs as "Good Times" and "The West Wing" as well as the award-winning miniseries "Roots."

Gem of the Ocean will play the McCarter Oct. 11-30. The production will mark the directorial debut of Tony Award winner Ruben Santiago Hudson.

Gem of the Ocean is the ninth play in Wilson's ten-play cycle chronicling the African-American experience through each decade of the 1900s. The story, set in 1904, "begins on the eve of the 285th birthday of Aunt Ester (a recurring character in Wilsonís play cycle). Citizen Barlow, a man who is in spiritual turmoil, arrives at Aunt Ester's house in Pittsburgh's Hill District and is soon set off on a spiritual journey to find the mythic City of Bones, leading him to startling discoveries and setting him on a course of duty and redemption."

The production will play Tuesdays-Thursdays at 7:30 PM, Friday and Saturday evenings at 8 PM with matinees on Saturdays at 3 PM and Sundays at 2 PM. Tickets, priced $25-$53, are available by calling (609) 258-2787 or by visiting www.mccarter.org. The McCarter Theatre is located at 91 University Place in Princeton, NJ.