Watch: Video Performance Of 'Ma Rainey's Black Bottom' Directed by Ruben Santiago Hudson

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by Tambay A. Obenson
August 26, 2013 7:03 PM
5 Comments
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August Wilson's masterfully-documented full century of the African American experience in the 10 plays that make up the American Century Cycle - nine of which have been staged on Broadway - will, for the very first time, be performed via stage readings before live audiences, and will be made available nationally as live video webcasts at www.thegreenespace.org

They will continue to be available online for at least three months, and will air on WNYC and other public radio stations in 2014. 

The Estate of August Wilson has granted Greene Space the rights to record all 10 of these works.

Ruben Santiago-Hudson is Artistic Director on the project. 

The series has assembled a formidable group of “Wilson Warriors” including Phylicia RashadS. Epatha MerkersonKenny LeonLeslie UggamsAnthony Chisholm and many others, along with Wilson first-timers including Taraji P. Henson and Jesse L. Martin.  

All performances will be available as live video webcasts at www.thegreenespace.org; select plays will air on WNYC and other public radio stations in 2014 and beyond.

The series began last night, at 7pm EST (all readings will start at 7pm) with Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, directed by Ruben Santiago Hudson, and a cast that includes: 

David Margulies…………………………...Sturdyvant

Tuck Milligan…………………………………….Irvin

Charles Weldon………………………………...Cutler

Clarke Peters…………………………………..Toledo

Harvy Blanks……………………………....Slow Drag

Ebony Jo-Ann…………………………..…Ma Rainey

Joniece Abbott-Pratt………………..…….Dussie Mae

Jonathan Majors………………………..…... Sylvester

The complete video recording of last night's performance can be watched in the video player embedded below.

First, the rest of the series schedule follows:

FencesWednesday, August 28

Directed by Kenny Leon

 

Eugene Lee………………………………… Jim Bono

Jesse L. Martin………………………………….Lyons

Ray Anthony Thomas………………………….Gabriel

Jonathan Majors………………………………….Cory

Regina Taylor…………………………………….Rose

 

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone– Wednesday, September 4

Directed by Phylicia Rashad

 

Keith David………………………………..Seth Holly

Taraji P. Henson……………….… Molly Cunningham

S. Epatha Merkerson……………………. Bertha Holly

Roger Robinson……………………….……… Bynum

Raynor Scheine………………….…...Rutherford Selig

Jason Dirden…………………….……..Jeremy Furlow

John Douglas Thompson……….……..Harold Loomis

January LaVoy………………….……Mattie Campbell

Nile Bullock………………….………Reuben Mercer

Alexis Holt…………………….………..Zonia Loomis

 

The Piano Lesson– Monday, September 9

Directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson

 

Brandon J. Dirden……………………..…..Boy Willie

Roslyn Ruff………………………………....Berniece

Jason Dirden………………………………….Lymon

Alexis Holt…………………………………...Maretha

Eric Lenox Abrams…………………………….Avery

Chuck Cooper……………………………Wining Boy

Mandi Masden………………………………….Grace

 

Two Trains Running– Wednesday, September 11

Directed by Michele Shay 

 

Ron Cephas Jones……………………………….Wolf

James A. Williams………………………….Holloway

Owiso Odera………………………………….Sterling

Leon Addison Brown……………………….Hambone

Harvy Blanks…………………………………….West

Seven Guitars– Friday, September 13

Directed by Stephen McKinley Henderson

 

Ruben Santiago-Hudson…………………… Canewell

Wendell Pierce……………………….……Red Carter

Brenda Pressley………………………………...Louise

Lou Ferguson………………………………….Hedley

Harry Lennix……………………………Floyd Barton

Cassandra Freeman……………………………...Ruby

 

Jitney– Monday, September 16

Directed by Ruben Santiago Hudson

 

Anthony Chisholm…………………………....Fielding

Amari Cheatom………………………….Youngblood

Stephen M. Henderson…...……………………Turnbo

Barry Shabaka Henley…………………………..Doub

Harvy Blanks…………………………………..Shealy

Joaquina Kalukango……………………………..Rena 

 

King Hedley II– Saturday, September 21

Directed by Michele Shay

 

Russell Hornsby………………………King Hedley II

Leslie Uggams…………………………………..Ruby

Kevin Carroll…………………………………...Mister

Stephen M. Henderson………………………..Elmore

Marsha Stephanie Blake………………………..Tonya

Arthur French……………………………Stool Pigeon

Gem of the Ocean– Tuesday, September 24

Directed by Kenny Leon

 

Eugene Lee…………………………………………Eli

Stephen Tyrone Williams……………..Citizen Barlow

Phylicia Rashad……………………………Aunt Ester

Danai Gurira……………………………...Black Mary

Raynor Scheine……………………...Rutherford Selig

Anthony Chisholm………………….Solly Two Kings

Keith Randolph Smith…………………………Caesar

 

Radio Golf– Saturday, September 28

Directed by Marion McClinton

 

Anthony Chisholm………….. ….Elder Joseph Barlow

John Earl Jelks…………………........Sterling Johnson

Rocky Carroll………………………...Harmond Wilks

Sharon Washington……………………...Mame Wilks

James A. Williams…………………...Roosevelt Hicks

Watch last night's staged reading of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom below:

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5 Comments

  • BD | August 28, 2013 10:40 PMReply

    Do you have a link to watch tonight's reading of FENCES?

  • Mj | August 28, 2013 9:33 PMReply

    The video is not show. It says private. Is there a link to view Ma Rainey?

  • Kedis | August 26, 2013 7:15 PMReply

    Ah, man. Y'all tricked me with that title. I thought this was a porno.

  • mantan | August 26, 2013 6:43 PMReply

    thanks for posting this. i'm going to plan to watch all of these!!!

  • aany | August 26, 2013 5:30 PMReply

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