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August Wilson's Seven Guitars

Directed by Brandon J. Dirden

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You asked for it, you got it — more August Wilson!

Following our critically acclaimed productions of Jitney and Two Trains Running, we are now taking you to Pittsburgh, 1948, where local blues guitarist Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton sits on the edge of stardom. Marking the directorial debut of Two River favorite Brandon J. Dirden (Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Topdog/Underdog and Jitney), Seven Guitars will enjoy a strictly limited three week engagement you will not want to miss!

WATCH

Official Trailer

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CRITICAL ACCLAIM

Seven Guitars hits a winning chord at Two River Theater

NEW JERSEY MONTHLY

August Wilson’s blues are back in Red Bank, ringing out with all the power and emotion that has made Wilson among the most celebrated of contemporary playwrights

THE STAR LEDGER

A marvel. Flawless. ‘Seven Guitars’ is 24-carat gold. Two River Theater burnishes it to a high gloss.

TWO RIVER TIMES

An experience that’s more joyously, devastatingly, elegantly, messily alive than most anything you’ll see on stage this season.

ASBURY PARK PRESS

Dirden’s direction keeps every character in perfect balance, allowing each member of the excellent cast to work.

TRICITY NEWS

It’s a must see. And with this cast, it’s doubly essential to catch this while you can.

TRICITY NEWS

Dirden’s impeccable direction, original music by Jason Moran and the extremely talented cast make Seven Guitars a must-see show.

BROADWAY WORLD

The Two River Theater has established itself as the regional home of Wilson by not only producing the late playwright’s work three times in the past four seasons, but by doing so with grace and nuance.

THE STAR LEDGER

MEET THE ARTISTS

THE CAST

Brittany Bellizeare

Brittany Bellizeare previously appeared at Two River Theater as Ruby in Seven Guitars and is happy to return to work on yet another August Wilson masterpiece. New York credits include an interactive play, In the Blue Hour (Emily) at La Maison d’Art Gallery in Harlem, and A Raisin in the Sun (Beneatha) at The Gallery Players. Regional: Portland Center Stage (Oregon) JAW Festival: three girls never learnt the way home (Edith); Baltimore Center Stage: Skeleton Crew (Shanita); The Guthrie: The Bluest Eye (Pecola); TheaterWorks Hartford: Sunset Baby (Nina); La Jolla/Berkeley Rep: The Last Tiger in Haiti (Rose); Northern Stage: The Mountaintop (Camae); the Yard: Archy & Mehitabel (Ensemble) Educational Tour: McCarter: Sunjata Kamalenya (Player 3). Film/TV: The BlacklistEye CandyThe Knick. Education: MFA: The New School for Drama; BS: Spelman College. NAACP Theatre for Best Ensemble nomination for The Last Tiger in Haiti (2017/18). brittanybellizeare.com

Brian D. Coats

Brian D. Coats Broadway: Jitney. He was previously seen at Two River Theater in Seven Guitars and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Off-Broadway includes: Travisville (Ensemble Studio Theatre), La Ruta (Working Theater), The First Noel (Classical Theatre of Harlem/The Apollo), On the Levee (Lincoln Center), The Merry Wives of Windsor, Two Gentlemen of Verona (Public/ NYSF). Regional: The Royale (Cleveland Play House), The Nest (Denver Center Theatre), Ralph Ellison’s Invisible Man (Huntington Theatre, Studio Theatre DC), Fences, A Raisin in the Sun (Geva Theatre), Distant Fires (People’s Light and Theatre), Clybourne Park (Caldwell Theatre), The Wedding Gift, pen/man/ship (Contemporary American Theatre Fest), Count (PlayMakers Rep). TV includes: Law & Order, Law & Order: SVU, JAG, Blue Bloods, The Sopranos, Boardwalk Empire, Luke Cage, and The Blacklist.

Crystal A. Dickinson

Crystal A. Dickinson, a New Jersey native, made her New Jersey debut at Two River Theater in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. Broadway: You Can’t Take It With You, Clybourne Park (Theater World Award). Playwrights Horizons: The Call, Clybourne Park; Signature Theatre: Funnyhouse of a Negro, The First Breeze of Summer; Lincoln Center: Broke-ology; Soho Rep: Born Bad; Negro Ensemble Company: Sundown Names and Night-gone Things; Atlantic Theater: Bottom of the World. Regional: Contemporary American Theater Festival, Baltimore Centerstage, 7 Stages, Georgia Shakespeare, Houston Shakespeare, Illinois Shakespeare, Synchronicity. Television: The Good Wife, Tyler Perry’s House of Payne. Film: Collateral Beauty, This Is Where I Leave You, I Origins. Education: MFA University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and a proud volunteer at the 52nd Street Project.

Jason Dirden

Jason Dirden This moment is truly an overflow of blessings! I get to work with my brother and sister-in-law on an August Wilson play all while returning to Two River Theater. Credits include: Broadway: A Raisin in the Sun, Fences. Off-Broadway: The First Breeze of Summer (Signature Theatre). Regional: Topdog/Underdog (Two River Theater); A Raisin in the Sun (Ebony Repertory Theatre); August Wilson’s Century Cycle (The Kennedy Center); Every Tongue Confess (Arena Stage); Stick Fly (Huntington Theatre). Training: Morehouse College and University of Illinois. Twitter/Instagram: @jasondirden

Charlie Hudson III

Charlie Hudson III is thrilled to be appearing again at Two River, where he was previously seen in A Raisin in the Sun and Seven Guitars. Previous shows include Detroit ’67 (Playmakers Rep); The Mountaintop (Northern Stage); Father Comes Home from the Wars (American Repertory Theatre); A Raisin in the Sun (Barrymore Theatre, Broadway); The Raisin Cycle: Clybourne Park & Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Centerstage); Hurt Village (Signature); Fences (Virginia Stage); The Piano Lesson (Yale Rep); Bike Wreck (Ensemble Studio Theatre); White Women Street (Irish Rep); “Master Harold”…and the boys (Portland Stage); Fly (Crossroads and Vineyard Playhouse); A Raisin in the Sun, Richard III, A Christmas Carol, All the King’s Men, Cyrano de Bergerac (Trinity Rep); Hillary (New Georges); Old Comedy (Classic Stage); Mother Courage (Public Theater/NYSF); Sweet Bird of Youth (Williamstown); Romeo and Juliet (Bread Loaf Acting Ensemble); Julius Caesar, Topdog/Underdog (Brown/ Trinity Consortium). TV includes: Manifest, The Night Of, Shades of Blues, The Good Fight, Unforgettable, Forever, The Rosa Parks Story, and A Raisin in the Sun “Revisited.” Film credits include Roxanne Roxanne; Complete Unknown; Twelve; Newlyweeds; Lillian; and his voice is featured in the McGraw-Hill’s PodClass GRE Vocabulary Study Guide. Mr. Hudson is the 2003 KC/ACTF Irene Ryan Best Actor Award winner (Region IV) and is a graduate of Alabama State University and the Brown University/Trinity Repertory Consortium. Charlie would like to thank God for this opportunity and his loving family for their support.

Kevin Mambo

Kevin Mambo made his Two River debut in August Wilson’s Seven Guitars earlier this season. Broadway: Fela! (Eugene O’Neill Theatre). First National Tour: Book of Mormon. Off-Broadway: Mother Courage (CSC), Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek (Signature), Fortress of Solitude (The Public), Brothers from the Bottom (Billie Holiday/NOCCA), SCKBSTD (Virginia Stage, with music and lyrics by Bruce Hornsby), Ruined (Goodman Theatre, MTC; winner of the Pulitzer Prize), Hoodoo Love (Cherry Lane), Jailbait (52nd St. Theater), Once Around the Sun (Zipper), The Last Detail (Lucille Lortel), The Memory of Love’s Refrain (52nd St Theater), The Convert (McCarter/Goodman/Kirk Douglas), Synching Ink (Alley Theatre), Theatre for One. Film: Cadillac Records, Nina, Trooper, The Firing Squad, One of Us Tripped. Select TV: High Maintenance, Happyish, Mistresses, Soul Food (recurring), Law & Order: SVU, Deadline, Criminal Intent, Spin City. Awards: three consecutive Daytime Emmy nominations, two Daytime Emmy Awards, Helen Hayes nomination, Audelco Award.

Christina Acosta Robinson

Christina Acosta Robinson is blessed beyond words to be doing this play with these remarkable collaborators. Recent credits include the role of Titania in The Guthrie Theater’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and Shug Avery in The Color Purple at Milwaukee Repertory Theater. Other credits include: Hennie in William Finn’s Romance in Hard Times at Barrington Stage Company; The Unfortunates and My Fair Lady (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); Caroline, or Change (Syracuse Stage); Sarah in Ragtime (Arvada Center); Death of a Salesman (Yale Repertory Theatre); The House of the Spirits (Mixed Blood Theatre); The Exonerated (Pittsburgh Playhouse); Mattie Campbell in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Pittsburgh Playwrights). Film/TV: Smash; Must Be the Music; Fine Tune. Training: M.F.A. — Yale School of Drama.

THE CREATIVES

Playwright

August Wilson
August Wilson

AUGUST WILSON (April 27, 1945-October 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African-Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century. His plays have been produced at regional theaters across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson’s works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as eight New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, Jitney, and Radio Golf. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwrighting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street – The August Wilson Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero.

Director

Brandon J. Dirden
Brandon J. Dirden

Brandon J. Dirden made his directing debut at Two River Theater with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and most recently directed King Hedley II here. He has appeared at Two River in A Raisin in the Sun; August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and Jitney; the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine; and Topdog/Underdog, in which he starred opposite his brother Jason Dirden under the direction of the play’s author, Suzan-Lori Parks. An award-winning actor/director, he is perhaps best known for portraying Agent Dennis Aderholt in the acclaimed FX series The Americans. ​Currently, Brandon can be seen in ABC’s new drama For Life. A Morehouse College and University of Illinois graduate, he is also known for appearing on Broadway as Martin Luther King Jr. in the successful Tony Award-winning Broadway production of Robert Schenkkan’s All the Way opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon B. Johnson. Other Broadway credits include August Wilson’s Jitney (2017 Tony Award for Best Revival), Prelude to a Kiss, Enron and Clybourne Park. In 2012 he was awarded an Obie and a Theatre World Award and was nominated for Drama League and Lucille Lortel Awards for his portrayal of Boy Willie in the Signature Theatre Company revival of August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson. Look for his Broadway return this spring in the highly anticipated revival of Richard Greenberg’s Take Me Out. Brandon is a proud member of Actors’ Equity Association, the union for professional actors and stage managers, and he is a frequent volunteer at The 52nd Street Project (52project.org). Brandon is married to actress Crystal Dickinson and currently lives in West Orange, NJ with their five-year-old son, Chase.

Scenic Designer

Michael Carnahan
Michael Carnahan

Michael Carnahan previously designed The Ballad of Little JoYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like MineThirdOn Borrowed Time, and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars and Two Trains Running at Two RiverOff-Broadway—Atlantic Theater Company: Skeleton Crew; 59E59: I and You; Second Stage: The Happiest Song Plays Last; Signature Theatre: The Piano LessonThe First Breeze of Summer; Life Could Be a DreamThe Marvelous WonderettesThree Mo’ TenorsPygmalionHowie the RookieBrando. Tours—Cheers, Live On StageA Christmas Story The Musical, Peter & The Starcatcher. Regional credits include Mark Taper Forum, Arena Stage, American Conservatory Theater, The Kennedy Center, McCarter Theatre, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Baltimore Center Stage, Actors Theatre of Louisville, Pasadena Playhouse, Two River Theatre, Chautauqua Theater Company, Cleveland Play House, Detroit Public Theater, Laguna Playhouse, Utah Shakespearean Festival, Northlight Theatre, Signature Theatre, Bucks County Playhouse, Ogunquit Playhouse, Arsht Center, Musical Theatre West, San Jose Repertory, Center Repertory. michaelcarnahandesign.com Instagram: Carnypics Twitter: @mike_carnahan

Costume Designer

Karen Perry
Karen Perry

Karen Perry previously designed August Wilson’s King Hedley II, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Jitney, Two Trains Running and Seven Guitars at Two River, as well as Love in Hate Nation, Oo-Bla-Dee, Lives of Reason, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Guadalupe in the Guest Room, Third and Trouble in Mind. Her most recent credits include runboyrun & In Old Age (New York Theatre Workshop), Mothers (Playwrights Realm), Jazz (MTC), Lackawanna Blues with Ruben Santiago-Hudson (Mark Taper Forum), Fun Home (Baltimore Center Stage), Steel Magnolias, Hair, Dreamgirls (DTC), Oklahoma! (Houston Ballet at TUTS) and Cinderella Ballet (Eglevsky Ballet Company). Other credits include Danai Gurira’s Familiar (Woolly Mammoth, Guthrie, Seattle Rep), Cabin in the Sky (Encores!), Pearl Cleage’s Blues for an Alabama Sky (Pasadena Playhouse), John Grisham’s A Time to Kill, dir. Ethan McSweeny (Arena), Crowns, stop.reset, Trinity River Trilogy by Regina Taylor (Goodman, STC, DTC/Arena), The Trip to Bountiful, Walter Mosley’s The Fall of Heaven, dir. Marion McClinton (Cincinnati Playhouse), The Brother/Sister Plays by Tarell McCraney, dirs. Tina Landau and Robert O’Hara (The Public/McCarter), Having Our Say by Emily Mann (McCarter) and Resurrection by Daniel Beaty (Arena). She has designed every play in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle except Fences. Film/TV credits include: Gregory Hines Show, Saturday Night Live, and The Brother from Another Planet by director John Sayles.

Lighting Designer

Driscoll Otto
Driscoll Otto

Driscoll Otto Previously designed Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine and Seven Guitars at Two River. This summer, Driscoll designed the lighting for Turandot at a quarry in Austria for Oper im Steinbruch. Recently he designed Lighting and Projections for Houston Grand Opera’s Marian’s Song, lighting for The Huntington Theatre Company’s production of The Purists directed by Billy Porter, projection design for Maggio Musicale Fiorentino’s The Flying Dutchman, lighting and projections for Iolanta at Chicago Opera Theatre. Mr. Otto’s design work is seen frequently in NYC, regional theatre, and opera. Other credits include The Huntington Theatre Company, Utah Opera, The Old Globe, Opera Omaha, Opera Philadelphia, Dallas Theater Center, Drury Lane Theatre, The Dallas Opera, Chicago Opera Theatre, Houston Shakespeare Festival, Trinity Repertory Company, Hangar Theatre, Flat Rock Playhouse, Lyric Opera Kansas City, and productions of Legally Blonde and Rock of Ages for Norwegian Cruise Lines. Highlights to his resume include projection design for Santa Fe Opera’s production of The Golden Cockerel and The Metropolitan Opera’s production of La Donna Del Lago. Upcoming projects include The Life reimagined and directed by Billy Porter for New York City Center’s Encores!, Paul Moravec, and Mark Campbell’s new oratorio Sanctuary Road. He received his MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts. His work can be seen at www.DriscollOtto.com

Sound Designer

David Margolin Lawson
David Margolin Lawson

David Margolin Lawson is a New York based sound designer and recording engineer. Previously for TRT: Lynn Nottage’s Intimate Apparel (2010). Recent NY area credits include: Napoleon (NYMF), The Queen Bees (Queens Theatre in the Park), A Happy End (Abingdon Theatre Co.), A Perfect Ganesh (Luna Stage), The Seagull (dir. Max Stafford-Clark, Culture Project), Barceló con Hielo (Repertorio Español), The Last Will (dir. Austin Pendleton, Abingdon Theatre Co.), Bronte: A Portrait of Charlotte (Ars Nova), The Sphinx Winx (Beckett Theatre), La Barbería (New World Stages), The First Breeze of Summer (dir. Ruben SantiagoHudson, Signature Theatre Co.). David teaches Sound Design at Pace University, NYC. www.dmlsoundny.com

Original Music

Jason Moran
Jason Moran

Jason Moran Jazz pianist, composer Jason Moran was born in Houston, TX in 1975 and earned a degree from the Manhattan School of Music, where he studied with Jaki Byard. He was named a MacArthur Fellow in 2010 and is the Artistic Director for Jazz at The Kennedy Center. Moran has recorded nine critically acclaimed albums for Blue Note Records, the latest All Rise: A Joyful Elegy for Fats Waller. His rich and varied body of work is actively shaping the current and future landscape of jazz. He has recorded with Cassandra Wilson, Charles Lloyd, Bill Frisell, Sam Rivers, Meshell N’degeocello and many others. Moran scored Ava DuVernay’s Oscar-nominated film Selma and his cross discipline collaborators include the artists Adrian Piper, Joan Jonas, Glenn Ligon, Stan Douglas, Adam Pendleton, Lorna Simpson, Theaster Gates and Kara Walker. Commissioning institutions of Moran’s work include the Walker Art Center, Chicago Symphony Center, Philadelphia Museum of Art, Jazz at Lincoln Center, Monterey Jazz Festival, among many others. Moran has a long-standing collaborative practice with his wife, the singer and Broadway actress Alicia Hall Moran; as named artists in the 2012 Whitney Biennial, they together constructed BLEED, a five-day series of 30 performances featuring 95 participants. BLEED explored the power of performance to cross barriers and challenge assumptions, and it was widely hailed as groundbreaking in the music and performance realm. Their collaboration, WORK SONGS, was commissioned by the 72nd Venice Art Biennial along with his first mixed-media installations STAGED: Savoy Ballroom and Three Deuces. He continues to collaborate with choreographers Alonzo King and Ronald K. Brown, poets Elizabeth Alexander and Yusef Komunyakaa, Moran currently teaches at the New England Conservatory in Boston.

Wig Designer

Erin Hicks
Erin Hicks

Erin Hicks grew up in Harlem, NY. She began styling hair as an assistant on The Winter’s Tale at the New York Shakespeare Festival, starring Alfre Woodard, Mandy Patinkin, and Diane Venora. Over the last 20 years she has worked on various Broadway, film and TV shows. This is Erin’s fifth show at Two River, following Guadalupe in the Guest Room and August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and King Hedley II.

Fight Direction

UnkleDave’s Fight-House
UnkleDave’s Fight-House

UnkleDave’s Fight-House UnkleDave’s Fight-House is a Drama Desk Award-nominated company of fight directors founded by Dave Anzuelo. The core members of the team are Jesse Geguzis, Gerry Rodriguez, Sean Fletcher and Aldo Uribe. Two River Theater credits: El Coqui Espectacular and the Bottle of Doom, Be More Chill, Seven Guitars, A Raisin in the Sun. Broadway credits: Escape to Margaritaville (Marquis), Tuck Everlasting (Broadhurst), An American in Paris (Palace), Disgraced (Lyceum). Off-Broadway: Girl from the North Country; Mother of the Maid and Oedipus El Rey (Public Theater), Downtown Race Riot (New Group). Regional: Oklahoma! (Goodspeed). National Tour: An American in Paris. London: Buried Child.

Casting

Heidi Griffiths
Heidi Griffiths

Heidi Griffiths has worked for more than 25 years at the Joseph Papp Public Theater in NYC, where she has cast over 200 productions Off-Broadway and at the Delacorte Theater in Central Park, including Shakespeare, new plays, and musicals. On Broadway: The Girl From The North Country; The Inheritance; The Iceman Cometh; Sweat; Shuffle Along; The Crucible, Eclipsed; A Delicate Balance; A Raisin in the Sun; Lucky Guy; Chinglish; The Motherf**ker with the Hat; The Merchant of Venice; Hair; Passing Strange; Caroline, or Change; Take Me Out (Tony Award, Best Play 2003); Topdog/Underdog (Pulitzer Prize, 2002); The Wild Party; Bring in ’Da Noise, Bring in ’Da Funk; On the Town; and The Tempest. She also cast the films The Incredibly True Adventures of Two Girls in Love, MURDER and murder, Saving Face and Ladybird. Radio Golf is her 12th collaboration with Two River Theater.

Kate Murray
Kate Murray

Two River Theater: TheoKing Hedley IIThe Importance of Being EarnestThe Women of Padilla, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Seven GuitarsYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, and The School for Wives. Broadway (as Casting Associate): The CrucibleA View from the Bridge, A Delicate Balance, A Raisin in the SunLucky Guy (Casting Assistant). Additional casting credits include work with Arena Stage, Center Theater Group, The Cherry Lane, Bedlam, Hudson Valley Shakespeare Festival, LAByrinth, New Georges, TheaterWorks Hartford, and The Studio TheatreKate is a Casting Director at The Public Theater.

Production Stage Manager

Laura Wilson
Laura Wilson

Laura Wilson Previously at TRT: Ma Rainey’s Black BottomSeven Guitars, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Third, No Place to Go. Broadway: Roman Holiday (OOT Tryout), Jitney, All The Way, First Date, A Free Man of Color, The People in the Picture. Off-Broadway: Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre); School Girls; Or, the African Mean Girls Play (MCC); Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company); Exit Strategy (Primary Stages); The Really Big Once, A Family of Perhaps Three (Target Margin Theater). Regional: Bull Durham (Alliance Theatre); Guys and Dolls (Riverside Theatre); The Three Sisters, The Boys from Syracuse, and Things of Dry Hours (Centerstage, Baltimore); Tom Stoppard’s On the Razzle (Clarence Brown Theatre).

Dates and tickets

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