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Two Trains Running

By August Wilson

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THE NEW YORK TIMES RAVES that the work of August Wilson, under the direction of his expert interpreter Ruben Santiago-Hudson, “brings a timely reminder of how consoling, how restorative, how emotionally sustaining great theater can be.” Don’t miss Two River’s production of Two Trains Running, Wilson’s powerful, often funny, always compassionate story of ordinary people who find community and hope in a Pittsburg diner amid the turbulent political upheaval and social change of the 1960s.

WATCH

Preview Trailer

PHOTOS

CRITICAL ACCLAIM

Brings a timely reminder of how consoling, how restorative, how emotionally sustaining great theater can be.

THE NEW YORK TIMES

A powerful soulful production.

STAGE MAGAZINE

Exceptional revival…Don’t let ‘Two Trains’ leave without you.

NEW JERSEY MONTHLY

MEET THE ARTISTS

THE CAST

Harvy Blanks

Harvy Blanks appeared on Broadway as Shealy in the Tony-winning production of Jitney. Off-Broadway, he received the Drama Desk Award for his performance in Tabletop. Other Off-Broadway credits include First Breeze of Summer and The Guest at Central Park West. His regional appearances include Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow, Moscow (Williamstown), Familiar (Yale Rep, The Guthrie and Seattle Rep) and Fire on the Mountain (TheatreWorks Palo Alto). At the Denver Center he starred in Ruined, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars and Radio Golf, among others. Harvy can be seen this season in Terrence Nance’s Random Acts of Flyness (HBO). His other television appearances include Preacher and Crime Story. He is very happy to return to Two River where he appeared in Jitney, Two Trains Running and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

Anthony Chisholm

Anthony Chisholm returns to Two River, where he played Fielding last season in August Wilson’s Jitney; he won Obie and Drama Desk Awards for the original Off-Broadway production, and also played the role of Fielding at the Mark Taper Forum and in London at the Royal National Theatre (Olivier Award for Best Play). He received a Tony nomination for his performance as Elder Joseph Barlow in August Wilson’s Radio Golf; his other Broadway credits include Wilson’s Two Trains Running and Gem of the Ocean. He is the recipient of NAACP, AUDELCO, Ovation, and IRNE Awards; he has also received nominations for Drama Desk, Drama League, Joseph Jefferson, Ovation, NAACP, and AUDELCO Awards. Mr. Chisholm appeared in The Tracers, Ice Bridge, and King Learfor The Public/NYSF. Other theater credits include The Mighty Gents, Back in the World, Melvin Van Peebles’ Ain’t Supposed To Die a Natural Death (first national tour), and Charles Gordone’s No Place to Be Somebody, as well as Tracers at London’s Royal Court and in Sydney and Melbourne, Australia. Regional credits include The Train Driver (Long Wharf), I Am a Man (Goodman), I Just Stopped By to See the Man (Steppenwolf), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Denver Center Theatre Company, Cleveland Play House), Fences (Indiana Rep) and Driving Miss Daisy (Portland Stage). His film/TV credits include 13Blackout, Reign Over Me, Langhorne in Beloved, 100 Center Street (Emmy consideration), Hack(recurring role), Law & Order: SVU, Vietnam War Stories (Cable Ace nomination), Third WatchPremium Rush (currently in release), this year’s Sundance entry Newlyweeds (due for a 2013 release), and HBO’s Ozas series regular Burr Redding.

Chuck Cooper

Chuck Cooper was seen at Two River last season in the new musical In This House and August Wilson’s Jitney. He most recently appeared in Wilson’s The Piano Lessonat the Signature Theatre. He is a veteran of 10 Broadway plays and musicals, and numerous television and film guest lead appearances over the span of his 30 years as a professional actor. He won the 1996 Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a musical for his portrayal of Memphis in The Life. Other Broadway credits include: Finian’s Rainbow;Lennon; Caroline, or Change (AUDELCO Award, Best Featured Actor); Chicago; Passion; Someone to Watch Over Me; Rumors;Amen Corner; Getting Away With Murder. Off-Broadway: Lost In the Stars (Encores); On the Levee (LCT3); Thunder Knocking on the Door (Minetta Lane, AUDELCO nomination); Colored People’s Time(Negro Ensemble Co.); and more.Regional credits include: All My Sons (Intiman); Dance of the Holy Ghosts(Yale Rep); Robeson(Passage Theatre); Othello (New Jersey Shakespeare Festival); Julius Caesar (Philadelphia Drama Guild); Hamlet, Twelfth Night (Shakespeare Theatre, DC); Coriolanus, Timon of Athens, Two Trains Running (San Diego Critics Circle Award, The Old Globe); and more. Television: Gossip Girl; Nurse Jackie; Hack; 100 Centre StreetLaw & Order; SVU; Oz;NYPD Blue; Cosby; New York Undercover; I’ll Fly Away; and more. Film: Boy Wonder; Noise;Evening; American Gangster; Find Me Guilty; Three Days of Rain;The Hurricane;The Opportunists; Gloria; The Juror; North.Mr. Cooper was a Beinecke Fellow at the Yale School of Drama.Favorite role: Eddie, Alex, and Lilli’s father. www.chuckcooper.net. Contact EBONYACTOR@aol.com.

John Earl Jelks

John Earl Jelks was nominated for a Tony Award for his performance as Sterling in August Wilson’s Radio Golf, which he also toured to the McCarter, Goodman, CENTERSTAGE, Seattle Rep, Mark Taper Forum, and Yale Rep. Jelks also appeared with Phylicia Rashad on Broadway in August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean as Citizen (after runs at the Goodman, Huntington, and Mark Taper, where he won an NAACP Theatre Award and an L.A. Ovation Award). In 2008, he won an AUDELCO Award for his work in the Off-Broadway revival of The First Breeze of Summer. Jelks also appeared Off-Broadway in MCC’s production of Neil LaBute’s The Break of Noon with David Duchovny, Amanda Peet, and Tracee Chimo. Regional theater: Fetch Clay, Make Man at McCarter Theatre; the world stage premiere of The Shawshank Redemption at the Gaiety Theatre in Ireland; Magnoliaat the Goodman Theatre; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at Penumbra Theatre Company and Missouri Repertory Theatre. Recently, Jelks appeared as Lt. Ike Murray in the film Snap; as the Man in the Desert in The Miraculous, a short film co-directed and co-written by Laurel Nakadate and Brent Stewart; and as Jermaine Dansby Sr. in the Spike Lee-helmed TV movie Da Brick. On TV, his guest starring roles include Mr. Achok on Law & Order: Special Victims Unitand Ray Bell on Blue Bloods.

Owiso Odera 

Owiso Odera appeared Off-Broadway in the US premiere of The Overwhelming (Roundabout Theatre Company) and Romeo and Juliet (The Public Theater/New York Shakespeare Festival). Regional theater credits include: August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean(A.C.T, San Francisco), directed by Mr. Santiago-Hudson; the title role in Othello(Folger Theatre, Washington DC); the world premiere of Samuel J. & K.at Williamstown Theatre Festival (Williamstown, MA); Groundswell, Titus Andronicus,Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Merry Wives of Windsor (The Old Globe, San Diego); Love of Three Oranges(La Jolla Playhouse); Macbeth(Commonwealth Shakespeare Company, Boston). Television: Blue Bloods(CBS),Numb3rs(CBS), TheUnit(CBS), FlashForward(ABC), recurring roles on ThreeRivers(CBS) and DIRT(FX).  Film: The Thirst (Blood Wars),Relative Obscurity, Acholiland, and the upcoming Orenthal: The Musical and H4. Training: The Acting Studio, New York; MFA from the University of California, San Diego. It is an honor and a privilege to live in the world that is an August Wilson play. For my grandmother Teresa Olewe Ogara; so, live…

Roslyn Ruff

Risa

Roslyn Ruff
James A. Williams

James A. Williams is thrilled to return to Two River, where he was previously seen in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running and Jitney. He originated the role of Roosevelt Hicks on Broadway in August Wilson’s Radio Golf. Off-Broadway credits include August Wilson’s The Piano Lesson and Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa! at Signature Theatre. Regionally, he’s performed at Center Stage, the Goodman Theatre, The Kennedy Center, Mark Taper Forum, McCarter Theatre, Penumbra Theatre, Seattle Repertory Theatre, Syracuse Stage and Yale Repertory Theatre. He was also named 2008 “Artist of the Year” by the Minneapolis StarTribune. James is a 2015 Fox Resident Acting Fellow (Distinguished Achievement) at Pillsbury House Theater in Minneapolis.

THE CREATIVES

Playwright and Director

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

Ruben Santiago-Hudson
Ruben Santiago-Hudson

Ruben Santiago-Hudson returns to Two River, where he directed August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Two Trains Running, and Jitney and his own world-premiere play, Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine. He Broadway production of Jitney won Tony, Drama Desk, Drama League, New York Drama Critics’ Circle, and Outer Critics Circle Awards. He recently directed and performed his Obie Award-winning solo show Lackawanna Blues at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles; his screenplay for the HBO adaptation received the Humanitas Prize, Christopher Award, National Board of Review Honors, and NAACP Image Award, and Emmy, Golden Globe, and Writers Guild of America nominations. Santiago-Hudson made his directorial debut with Gem of the Ocean (McCarter Theatre and American Conservatory Theater). His other recent directing credits include Othello (Delacorte Theater); two world premieres by Dominique Morisseau, Skeleton Crew (Atlantic) and Paradise Blue (Williamstown); Athol Fugard’s My Children! My Africa!, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars and The First Breeze of Summer (all for Signature Theatre Company, where he was an Associate Artist 2008-2009); Quiara Alegria Hudes’ The Happiest Song Plays Last (for Second Stage); Things of Dry Hours (New York Theatre Workshop); and Radio Golf (Kennedy Center). Santiago-Hudson made his Broadway acting debut in Jelly’s Last Jam. His performance in Seven Guitars earned him the Tony Award for Best Featured Actor in a Play. His recent theater performances include August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned (Signature Theatre), Stick Fly (Broadway), A Winter’s Tale (NYSF), and Gem of the Ocean (Broadway). He was seen on TV in the ABC show Castle as Captain Roy Montgomery for three seasons and most recently on the AMC Drama Low Winter Sun; his other TV credits include: The Family, Billions, Public Morals, The Good Wife, Low Winter Sun, Person of Interest, Forgotten Genius, The West Wing, Law & Order The Red Sneakers, Solomon and Sheba, Rear Window. His film credits include Selma, Their Eyes Were Watching GodAmerican Gangster, Shaft, Devil’s Advocate, and Domestic Disturbance, among many others.  He has been honored with numerous awards, including three Obies, Lucille Lortel, Outer Critics Circle, Dramalogue, Joe A. Calloway Directing Award, Clarence Derwent, and Helen Hayes Awards, the Distinguished Alumni Award from Wayne State University, AUDELCO Awards, a Black Filmmaker’s Award, and an HBO Arts Festival Theater Award. He is the recipient of Honorary Doctorate degrees from both Buffalo State College and Wayne State University. The Ruben Santiago-Hudson Fine Arts Learning Center in Lackawanna, New York was named in his honor.

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 (Costume Designer) previously designed August Wilson’s King Hedley IIMa Rainey’s Black BottomJitneyTwo Trains Running, Seven Guitars and Radio Golf at Two River, as well as Love in Hate NationOo-Bla-DeeLives of ReasonYour Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine, Guadalupe in the Guest RoomThird and Trouble in Mind. Her most recent credits include Run-Boy-Run & 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), Crownsstop. 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 ShowSaturday Night Live, and The Brother from Another Planet by director John Sayles. Wine in the Wildness is proudly Karen’s 14th production with TRTC. Currently: Raisin in the Sun @ the Public Theater.

Lighting Designer

Xavier Pierce
Xavier Pierce

Xavier Pierce Recent credits include: DRUMLIne Live (National and International Tour); Associate Lighting Designer for Clybourne Park(Walter Kerr Theatre, Broadway). Regional credits include: Westport Country Playhouse (Westport, CT), Intiman Theatre (Seattle, WA), Crossroads Theatre Company (New Brunswick, NJ), Peterborough Players (New Hampshire), Kentucky Performing Arts Center, South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center, Santa Fe Opera, Utah Shakespearean Festival, and Arena Stage, where he was an Allen Lee Hughes Lighting Design Fellow. He lit the Grand Opening of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center with director Heidi Marshall.  He is a graduate of New York University Tisch School of the Arts MFA in Design for Stage and Film and a member of the United Scenic Artist Local 829.

Sound Designer

Robert Kaplowitz 
Robert Kaplowitz 

Robert Kaplowitz has been lucky enough to spend the last 20 years composing and designing sound, and has been honored with an Obie for Sustained Excellence in Sound Design and a Tony Award for Fela!. Previously with Mr. Santiago-Hudson: My Children! My Africa!(Signature Theatre); previously with Two River: Uncle Vanyadirected by Dr. Rechnitz himself. He lives in Philadelphia, where he’s created work with PlayPenn, Arden, Interact, Wilma, Philadelphia Theatre Company, People’s Light & Theatre Company, Elastic Theatre, Azuka, Walnut Street and Lucidity Suitcase. In other cities, his work has been heard at The Public, MCC, both Signatures, NYTW, Lincoln Center, The National Theatre of England, The Guthrie, MTC, Playwrights, and basically every 99-seat theater in NYC. He is married to a former John Deere Catalog Model whom he loves, along with his son Niall, more than any work he’s ever done.

Composer

Bill Sims, Jr.
Bill Sims, Jr.

Bill Sims, Jr. is an internationally respected “Master of the Blues.” With the Heritage Blues Orchestra, he was a 2012 Grammy nominee for “And Still I Rise” in the category of Best Blues Album. His recent theater credits include August Wilson’s Two Trains Running and Jitney at Two River and The Piano Lesson at Signature Theatre. Off-Broadway: Lackawanna Blues (Public Theater, Obie Award for Music, 2001), Seven Guitars, The First Breeze of Summer (both Signature), Things of Dry Hours (NYTW). Other theater: Deep Down (INTAR), Gem of the Ocean (McCarter), Crowns (Intiman), Trick the Devil (Freedom Theatre), Moms and Her Ladies (The Producers Club), Polk County (Berkeley Rep). Mr. Sims was the subject of the documentary An American Love Story (PBS) for which he composed many of the songs for the soundtrack. Other film credits: Lackawanna Blues, New York Stories, Miss Ruby’s House, American Gangster, Cadillac Records. His voice can be heard in many TV and radio commercials. His critically acclaimed 1999 CD release Bill Sims (Warner Bros.) demonstrates his knowledge of the many facets of the Blues. Training: Ohio State University. www.heritagebluesorchestra.com

Hair and Makeup Design

Valerie Gladstone
Valerie Gladstone

Valerie Gladstone is honored to be back at Two River Theater.  Her Broadway credit highlights include Mothers and Sons, The Seagull with Kristin Scott Thomas, Beauty and the Beast, Tarzan, and Thurgood with Laurence Fishburne. Off-Broadway: stop. reset., The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, First Breeze of Summer at the Signature Theatre; Having Our Say at McCarter Theatre; A Christmas Carol, A Raisin in the Sun/Clybourne Park at Dallas Theater Center. Film and television credit highlights include The Deuce, Maggie’s Plan, Fading Gigolo, The Black List, Madam Secretary, Person of Interest, The Wolf of Wall Street, The Normal Heart, and Black Swan. In her latest venture, she is the artist behind Brooklyn Dollworks, proprietors of art dolls.

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.

Production Stage Manager

Bertie Michaels
Bertie Michaels

Bertie Michaels (Stage Manager) Broadway: Be More Chill, Come From Away, Beautiful – The Carole King Musical, Thérèse Raquin, A Bronx Tale. Off-Broadway/NYC: Encores! Mack & Mabel, Signature Theatre, Lincoln Center/LCT3, 2ndStage. Regional: Buck’s County Playhouse, Paper Mill Playhouse, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Two River Theater, Dallas Summer Musicals, Shakespeare on the Sound, Folger Shakespeare Theatre, Shakespeare Theatre of NJ. Other: August Wilson’s American Century Cycle with WNYC. Love and thanks to my family and to Sean.

Dates and tickets

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