The play will begin performances May 27 for a run through July 3 under the direction of Young Vic artistic director David Lan. It will be designed by Patrick Burnier with lighting by Mike Gunning, sound by Gareth Fry and casting by Julia Horan.
The second play in Wilson's Pittsburgh cycle of plays chronicling a decade-by-decade history of black American experience in the twentieth century, it was, according to press materials, Wilson's favorite of all his plays. He is quoted as saying, "After I wrote it I said to myself: 'If I die tomorrow, I have fulfilled myself as an artist.'"
Set in 1911, it revolves around Herald Loomis, who has been forced to work in Joe Turner’s slave gang for seven years. Now he is searching for the wife he left behind, believing she can help him reclaim his lost identity. Through the people he meets in a Pittsburgh boarding house, he discovers that what he is really seeking is his rightful place in a new world.
The play was originally premiered in 1984 at the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center in Waterford, CT, and subsequently received its Broadway premiere in 1988 at the Ethel Barrymore Theatre. It was Tony-nominated for Best Play, and won the 1988 New York Drama Critics' Circle Award in the same category.
Lan has previously directed A Raisin in the Sun, ‘Tis Pity She's a Whore, Doctor Faustus, The Daughter-in-Law and The Skin of Our Teeth at the Young Vic, and As You Like It (at Wyndham’s as part of the Young VIc Walkabout season).
Priority booking for Friends of the Young Vic is now open; public booking opens March 1. To book tickets, contact the box office at 020 7922 2922, or visit www.youngvic.org.