August Wilson's Radio Golf
JOAN AND ROBERT RECHNITZ THEATER
Surprising, suspenseful, and crowd-rousing. The final play in August Wilson’s magnificent century cycle has crackling comedy, engaging snap, and theatrical zest.
—THE NEW YORK TIMES
Director Brandon J. Dirden (King Hedley II, Seven Guitars) returns to Two River to direct our sixth production from The American Century Cycle—Radio Golf, the Cycle’s 10th and final play, set in 1997. Real-estate developer Harmond Wilks is determined to become the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, and to revitalize the Hill District. Starbucks, Barnes & Noble and Whole Foods are ready to move in. But one particular house on the development site, at 1839 Wylie Avenue, must be torn down, a casualty of urban blight. And that house belonged to Wilson’s legendary Aunt Ester—forcing Harmond, and the Hill District itself, into a battle between the past and the future.
THIS SHOW IS FOR YOU IF…
- You are committed to experiencing the entirety of August Wilson’s 10-play American Century Cycle.
- You’re interested in the process of community gentrification: how it starts, and how it may be halted.
- You’re a political news junkie interested in the story of a young African-American man setting out on his political career.
- You have ever been torn between what you owe to your past, and what you desire for your future.
- You enjoy thought-provoking explorations of how to honor cultural legacy and history.
- You remember how the 1990s shaped much of what America is going through today, or you want to explore it for the first time.
MEET THE ARTISTS
Wayne Dehart was born in Jonesville, South Carolina; his parents’ divorce brought him to Houston. He began his theater journey with J.B. by Archibald MacLeish. He joined Houston’s Ensemble Theatre in 1981 and has been a mainstay there for 38 years, garnering several Best Actor and Best Supporting Actor awards. Wayne has completed eight of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle (having to forego his casting in Gem of the Ocean to do a film). His film credits include Jason’s Lyric (The Shit Man), I Come in Peace, and Once Upon a Time…When We Were Colored. He recently completed work on Bayou Caviar with Cuba Gooding Jr., Tales from the Hood 2, The Peanut Butter Falcon, Tropical Cop Tales, and Hap and Leonard. Wayne is the primary re-enactment performer at the Buffalo Soldier National Museum, where he has performed The Life of a Buffalo Soldier since 2001. He is a proud father of My Love T-ATA, a three-time grandfather, and a four-time great grandfather. “I was so excited when Mr. Dirden reached out to me. I wanted to dig up my script and start right away. I am truly grateful and appreciated to Two River Theater for giving me this ‘bucket list’ opportunity.”
Amber Iman made her Two River Theater debut last season as Luna C in Oo-Bla-Dee. Broadway: Shuffle Along, Soul Doctor. Off-Broadway: A Civil War Christmas, Rent. National Tour: Hamilton (1st National, Peggy Schuyler/Maria Reynolds). Favorite regional credits: Joy in Witness Uganda (The Wallis, LA Ovation Award Winner for Best Featured Actress in a Musical), Cheryl in Stick Fly (Arena Stage, IRNE Award nominee for Best Supporting Actress), Aldonza in Man of La Mancha (Shakespeare Theatre, Helen Hayes Award nomination for Outstanding Actress and Emery Battis Award for Acting Excellence). Howard University Graduate (2016 James Butcher Alumni Award), and proud founding member of the Broadway Advocacy Coalition. Recently, Amber wrote, executive produced, and starred in her first short film, Steve. Her proudest accomplishment to date, Steve has won awards for Best Short, Best Comedy, and Best Actress at multiple film festivals across the country.
Nathan James is thrilled to be making his debut at Two River Theater! He is a proud native of Pittsburgh and began his career with Kuntu Repertory Theatre. Nathan will be featured as Xavier in the feature film Standing Up, Falling Down starring Billy Crystal…due in theaters Feb. 2020. He won 1st place at Amateur Night at the Apollo with an original poem and received a 2014 A.U.D.E.L.C.O Award for Best Supporting Actor for the Billie Holiday Theatre’s production of Maid’s Door. His one-man play, Growing Pains, has been produced at the August Wilson Center for African American Culture, United Solo Theatre Festival (Theatre Row NYC), and various theaters and festivals around the United States. Film/TV credits: Madam Secretary, Person of Interest, Blue Bloods (CBS), Shades of Blue, Blindspot (NBC), Quantico, Deception (ABC), The Wire, Vinyl (HBO), The Interestings (Amazon), The Path (Hulu), Pain Within (Sundance Film Festival), Service to Man (STARZ). Theater: Off-Broadway: Travisville (Ensemble Studio Theatre), Playing with Fire (Gene Frankel Theatre), Black Angels Over Tuskegee (St. Luke’s Theatre). NY: Armed (Amoralists), Growing Pains (Billie Holiday Theatre). Regional: Feeding Beatrice (Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Julius Caesar (Pennsylvania Centre Stage), Work Song (Pittsburgh City Theatre). www.officialnathanjames.com.
Carl Hendrick Louis
Carl Hendrick Louis Broadway: 1984, The Cherry Orchard (Roundabout Theatre Company). Off-Broadway: The Emperor Jones (Irish Repertory Theatre), The Tempest (Classical Theatre of Harlem), Little Children Dream of God (Roundabout Theatre Company), The King’s Whore (Walkerspace), In Fields Where They Lay (Hudson Guild Theatre), Marat/Sade (Classical Theatre of Harlem). Regional: Mlima’s Tale (Westport Country Playhouse), Sunset Baby (Kitchen Theatre Company). Film: Fan Girl, Unknown Soldier. Television: Mindhunter. Education: New York University’s Graduate Acting Program and Fordham University’s Theatre Program.
Robbie Williams is thrilled to be making his debut at Two River Theater. The Indianapolis native is a NYU Tisch School of the Arts Graduate Acting Program alum and can be seen on shows such as Orange Is the New Black and CSI: NY. Robbie is grateful to be working with the talented cast and crew of Radio Golf.
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.
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.
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.
Driscoll Otto Previously designed Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine and Seven Guitars at Two River. Recently Driscoll designed lighting for the Huntington Theatre Company’s production of The Purists directed by Billy Porter, lighting for The Old Globe’s production of Noura, projections for The Flying Dutchman in Florence, Italy, and lighting and projections for Iolanta at Chicago Opera Theater. Mr. Otto’s design work is seen frequently in NYC & in regional theater and opera. His credits include 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. He received his MFA from New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts.
Kay Richardson is a two-time Suzi Bass nominated Sound Designer and Audio Engineer. Radio Golf marks Kay’s return to the Two River family. Regional Theater designs include: The Hound of the Baskervilles at Alpine Theatre Project in Whitefish, MT; King Hedley II at Two River; Eclipsed at Synchronicity Theatre, Thurgood at Theatrical Outfit; Between Riverside and Crazy, Smart People, Fetch Clay Make Man and Gut Bucket Blues at Kenny Leon’s True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta, GA. Additional design work includes: A Man of No Importance, Spring Awakening, The Colored Museum, A Song for Coretta, and Seven Guitars. Kay has toured in all 50 of the United States and in over 45 countries mixing live sound for musicals and concerts. Currently she is the Sound Supervisor at Princeton University’s Lewis Center for the Arts in Princeton, NJ.
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.
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.
Two River Theater: Theo, King Hedley II, The Importance of Being Earnest, The Women of Padilla, The Merry Wives of Windsor, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Seven Guitars, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, and The School for Wives. Broadway (as Casting Associate): The Crucible, A View from the Bridge, A Delicate Balance, A Raisin in the Sun, Lucky 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 Theatre. Kate is a Casting Director at The Public Theater.
Production Stage Manager
Megan Smith is thrilled to return to TRT and to be working on Radio Golf. Previously, Ms. Smith stage managed The Bridge of San Luis Rey and Dancing at Lughnasa at Two River Theater. Most recently, Ms. Smith helped David Greenspan remount TRT’s production of The Bridge of San Luis Rey at Miami New Drama. Select NY credits include: Off-Broadway: Usual Girls, Look Back in Anger, Ordinary Days (Roundabout Theatre Company); Fetch Clay, Make Man and Red Dog Howls (New York Theatre Workshop); The Scottsboro Boys, Mary Rose, The Internationalist (The Vineyard Theatre); Book of Days (Signature Theatre). Regional credits include: Miami New Drama, Westport Country Playhouse, Long Wharf Theater, Baltimore Center Stage, New York Stage and Film, Bard SummerScape and The Guthrie Theater. Proud member of Actors’ Equity since 1999.
The show gives metro area audiences a top reason to attend theatre, to be entertained and enlightened.
Under [Brandon Dirden’s] sure hand, the tension, humanity and humor of ‘Radio Golf’ coalesce into a gripping whole. The play and playwright could not be better served.
—SCENE ON STAGE
The play pulsates between comedy and searing social critique while its performers craft full, complex characters.
Brandon Dirden (Director) and Two River have located and are amplifying the show’s great power.