The Work Of Legendary Playwright August Wilson
Returns To Seattle Rep In A New Revival Of
TWO TRAINS RUNNING
“There are always only two trains running. There is life and there is death. Each of us rides them both.” – August Wilson
With great excitement, Seattle Repertory Theatre kicks off 2018 with its production of August Wilson’s poetic masterpiece, Two Trains Running. A cast of seven-Eugene Lee (Memphis Lee), Nicole Lewis (Risa), William Hall Jr. (West), Carlton Byrd (Sterling), Reginald Andre Jackson (Wolf), David Emerson Toney (Holloway), and Frank Riley III (Hambone)-portray the denizens of a Pittsburgh diner who are all reckoning with a revolutionary time in history – the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s. The creative team includes Juliette Carrillo (director); Misha Kachman (scenic design); Ivania Stack (costume design); Sherrice Mojgani (lighting design); David R. Molina (sound design); and Gin Hammond (Vocal Coach). Two Trains Running is produced in association with Arena Stage in Washington D.C. and performs on the Bagley Wright stage January 12 – February 11, 2018 (opening night is January 17, 2018), and tickets are on sale now through the Seattle Rep Box Office at 206.443.2222 and online at SeattleRep.org.
One of the 20th century’s most acclaimed playwrights, August Wilson moved to Seattle in 1990 and formed a deep connection with Seattle Rep. The Rep is one of the few theatres in the country to produce Wilson’s full Century Cycle of plays, including his solo play, How I Learned What I Learned. Over the course of his life, he won the Pulitzer Prize for Fences and The Piano Lesson, as well as Rockefeller and Guggenheim fellowships, a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award, and four New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards. Two Trains Running became a Pulitzer Prize finalist and is the seventh play in his decade-by-decade account of black American life in this century. In 1992, The New York Times called Two Trains Running “Mr. Wilson’s most adventurous and honest attempt to reveal the intimate heart of history,” and that it “arrives at a destination that burns almost too brightly in memory to pass for history.”
This August Wilson play is deeply rooted in our history, and the parallels to our times are strikingly familiar,” Braden Abraham, Seattle Rep Artistic Director comments. “Our new production of Two Trains Running is helmed by Juliette Carrillo, a visionary director and frequent guest artist at the Rep. Leading an exceptional cast, Juliette is part of a new generation of directors interpreting August’s plays for today’s audiences, making for an exciting new chapter in our long history with the brilliant playwright’s work.”
As Seattle Rep’s mainstage production of Two Trains Running opens, the annual, nation-wide August Wilson Monologue Competition (AWMC) will be accepting high school students interested in taking part in free coaching sessions at the Rep in anticipation of the first round of competition here in Seattle. The AWMC is a national competition created by two of August Wilson’s closest collaborators, director Kenny Leon and dramaturg Todd Kreidler, to help bring Wilson’s work to young audiences. The public performance of students’ monologues will be held Thursday, March 8 at the Rep’s Leo K. Theatre. Visit seattlerep.org/AWMC for more info.
About Juliette Carillo
Juliette returns to Seattle Repertory Theatre where she previously directed The Cook by Eduardo Machado, The Brothers Size by Tarell Alvin McCraney, and Brownsville Song (b-side for tray) by Kimber Lee. Juliette has directed critically acclaimed premiere and revival productions in theatres across the country, including Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Mark Taper Forum, South Coast Repertory, Yale Repertory, Denver Center Theatre Company, Portland Center Stage, and the Goodman Theatre. As a member of the Cornerstone Theater Company ensemble, she has developed work for and with various communities such as the Los Angeles River community, the addiction and recovery community, the Hindu community, and seniors and their caregivers. She was an Artistic Associate and Director of the Hispanic Playwright’s Project at South Coast Repertory for seven years. She is a recipient of several awards, including the NEA/TCG Directing Fellowship and the Princess Grace Award, and was finalist for the Zelda Fichandler Award. A Yale School of Drama graduate, she is currently on faculty at UC Irvine. For more: www.juliettecarrillo.com
About August Wilson (Playwright)
(April 27, 1945-October 2, 2005)
August Wilson 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 20th century. His plays have been produced at regional theatres across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut at Seattle Repertory Theatre 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 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 theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street “The August Wilson Theatre.” Additionally, Mr. Wilson posthumously received the Dramatists Guild Award for Lifetime Achievement; was inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame; is the chosen namesake for Pittsburgh’s August Wilson Center for African American Culture; as well as having a portion of Seattle Center’s campus renamed “August Wilson Way.” 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.