People's Light & Theatre presents August Wilson's Seven Guitars,running September 12-October 7, 2012 on the Main Stage. Jade King Carroll directs. People's Light & Theatre is located at 39 Conestoga Road, Malvern, Penn. For tickets call 610.644.3500 or visit PeoplesLight.org.
Abbey Adams, Artistic Director at People's Light, comments "We are proud to be opening our 2012-2013 season with the first production in our history by the great American playwright August Wilson. Seven Guitars is filled with the funny, sweet, mythic qualities of Wilson's best work. And we are so pleased Jade King Carroll is back to direct a stellar cast in this epic story of love and yearning."
Seven Guitars is set in May of 1948 in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Penn., where Wilson was born and raised, and all of the action takes place in the backyard of a house shared by several of the characters in the play. The play centers around Floyd Barton, a blues guitar player on the threshold of success. Influenced by the narrative structure of a short story by Argentinean writer Jorge Luis Borges, Wilson crafts this story as a memory play and we begin after Floyd's funeral and then flashback to events leading to his death. Throughout the play, characters battle with questions of ambition, love, death, heritage, faith, and individual as well as cultural legacies as all of them struggle to achieve their dreams and find their place in the world.
August Wilson is best known for his History or Pittsburgh Cycle, a series of 10 plays with one play set in each decade of the 20th century. This cycle, comprised of a play for each decade of the 20th century, has garnered numerous prestigious awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes of five nominations and nine Tony Award nominations for Best New Play. Seven Guitars was the 6th play of this cycle produced on Broadway. It is arguably Wilson's most musical play. For Wilson, music-particularly the blues-holds signification cultural value which he characterizes as "an expression of our people and our response to the world.
This will be People's Light's first production of a play by August Wilson, a poet-turned-playwright born and raised in Pittsburgh who literally changed the face of American theatre. As the most produced playwright in the 1990s, his prominence gave rise to many African American stage actors, such as Ruben Santiago-Hudson, who won a Tony Award for his portrayal of Canewell in the 1996 Broadway production of Seven Guitars. Jade King Carroll, returning to direct her third show here at People's Light, is a mentee of Santiago-Hudson. They met during the 2006 NYC revival of the play, which he directed and she assistant-directed. In 2010, Carroll's connection to Wilson's legacy was formally acknowledged as she was awarded the Paul Green Award for Outstanding Emerging Theatre Professional by The August Wilson Estate.
This play is a celebration of the community, but also explores the struggles of individuals in their search for the American dream. At the core of the play is a way money serves as a tragic weapon against the souls of these characters. The lack of it, the want of it, and the treatment of others based on it. Seven Guitars speaks in a spirited, sexy, poetic way about how money and related concepts of success and happiness shape the identity of the characters and in turn our American identity.
Seven Guitars won a New York Drama Critics Circle Award and was nominated for a Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award, and Drama Desk Award.
Seven Guitars previews on Wednesday, September 12th and Thursday, September 13th at 7:30 pm and Friday, September 14th at 8:00 pm. The play opens on Saturday September 15th at 8:00 pm and runs through October 7th. Audiences are encouraged to join the artists for a conversation about the production after performances on September 20th, 27th and October 4th.
Single tickets range in price from $25 – $45. For tickets, call the Box Office at 610.644.3500. Special discounts are available for groups of 10 or more. For more information or to purchase group tickets, call 610.647.1900 x134 or email email@example.com.