CMU School of Drama
Pittsburgh, PA; October 2014
I worked with director Cameron Knight to bring August Wilson back home to Pittsburgh. I provided research and rehearsal support, coordinated community outreach efforts, wrote a program note about race in the United States, curated and constructed a lobby display, and moderated audience talkbacks.
We also had a special matinee of Seven Guitars for local high school students. In addition to leading a post-show talkback, I created a resource guide for their teachers which included optional activities for the students. (See the press release for this event here.)
Click here to read my playwright biography and program note: Seven Guitars PN final
Watch our YouTube trailer (by Jordan Harrison) here:
Before rehearsals began, I helped organize for the cast and designers to meet with Christopher Rawson, an expert on August Wilson’s work and a friend of the late playwright. Chris led us through a tour of the Hill District to understand the history of the Hill and to see the locations that impacted August Wilson’s life and work. We made a point to stop at August Wilson’s childhood home, the direct inspiration for Seven Guitars. (Photos by Nathan Bertone and Cameron Knight)
My lobby display primarily resided in a large glass cube in the lobby of the Purnell Center for the Arts. It featured a “scene” from the backyard of the house, three timelines comparing August Wilson’s life and cycle with civil rights advancements, and pictures of Pittsburgh and the Hill District contrasting the 1940s and now. (Photos by Caryl Abrams) Not pictured here, I also placed scripts from the other plays in Wilson’s cycle around the lobby, for patrons to peruse and experience the magnitude of the complete Century Cycle. For more information about/images and text from my lobby display, click here.
The Post-Gazette also recognized Seven Guitars as one of the top 23 plays in Pittsburgh in 2014.