California's TheatreWorks Silicon Valley will present August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean, directed by Artistic Director Tim Bond. The production will premiere at the Bay Area's Mountain View Center for the Performing Arts April 6, and will conclude May 1. Opening night is slated for April 9.
The production marks Bond's directorial debut with the company. Commenting on his relationship with the late playwright, he shared, “August was a dear friend of mine and his inspiring and beautiful play speaks to this current moment. With TheatreWorks’ very first production in 1970— the musical Popcorn—Robert Kelley and his band of theatre artists rallied a community together through story and through the power of theatre. The issues of those times were not unlike the pressing concerns of today. Once again, we find ourselves in a time of uncertainty, loss, and a hope for a better world, and I believe August’s spiritual and redemptive journey will be an inspiration for us all."
The Tony Award-nominated play takes place in 1904 and follows a young Black man on his journey for spiritual guidance. Along the way, he learns about his ancestors' history through a 285-year-old former slave, Aunt Ester. TheatreWorks' production will feature Greta Oglesby as Aunt Ester, Edward Ewell as Citizen Barlow, Porsha Shaw as Black Mary, Kim Sullivan as Solly Two Kings, Jerome Preston Bates as Eli, Rodney Hicks as Caesar, and Dan Hiatt as Rutherford Selig.
The creative team comprises William Bloodgood as scenic designer, Lydia Tanji as costumer designer, Lonnie Rafael Alcarez as lighting designer, Michael Keck as sound designer, and Taylor McQuesten as stage manager.
For more information, visit TheatreWorks.org.