0 7 min 4 yrs

Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater announces the company for August Wilson’s Seven Guitars. Tazewell Thompson (Arena’s Jubilee) will direct this Tony Award-nominated play. Set in 1940s Pittsburgh, seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer Floyd Barton vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall leaves him hopeful for a second chance.

Seven Guitars is August Wilson’s second production in Arena Stage’s August Wilson Festival. This “…rich, music-drenched drama,” (New York Times) runs April 3 – May 3, 2020 in the Fichandler Stage.

“Having directed August Wilson’s Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, both at Arena Stage, I’m happy to return with August Wilson’s Seven Guitars,” explains Thompson. “Wilson, an extraordinary master storyteller and playwright, spinning yarns of African Americans, their rhythms and cycles of life, love, pain, suffering, ecstasy and joy; painting a big picture of his people’s courage and folly; capturing their heartbeat and heartache, using his deep and wide imaginative soulful toolbox of blues and jazzy poetic idioms.”

“Tazewell Thompson is one of America’s best directors today and I’m thrilled to have him back at Arena, directing Seven Guitars as part of our August Wilson Festival,” shares Artistic Director Molly Smith. “Tazewell has a beautiful ear for language and brings out stellar performances through actors. He creates graceful imagery in the round. There really could be no better person to bring this important August Wilson play to life.”

Returning to Arena Stage are Dane Figueroa Edidi (Choreographer for Arena’s Nina Simone: Four Women) as Ruby, Joy Jones (Arena’s Jubilee) as Vera, David Emerson Toney (Arena’s Two Trains Running) as Hedley and Michael Anthony Williams (Arena’s King Hedley II) as Canewell.

Making their Arena Stage debuts include Chris Herbie Holland (Berkeley Repertory’s White Noise) as Red Carter, Michael Zachary Tunstill (NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts’ Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom) as Floyd Barton and Roz White (Mosaic Theater Company’s Marie and Rosetta) as Louise.

In addition to Thompson, the creative team includes Set Designer Donald Eastman, Costume Designer Harry Nadal, Lighting Designer Robert Wierzel, Sound Designer Fabian Obispo, Wig Designer Anne Nesmith, Casting Directors Victor Vazquez and Geoff Josselson, Stage Manager Christi B. Spann, Assistant Stage Manager Marne Anderson and Directing Assistant Megan Watson.

Post-Show Conversations
Connect with our shows beyond the performance at a post-show conversation with artists and staff on April 21 and 23 following the 7:30 p.m. performance and April 15, 22 and 28 following the 12 p.m. performance.

Seven Guitars is a part of Arena Stage’s August Wilson Festival. Additional information regarding events can be found by visiting here.

August Wilson’s Seven Guitars
Directed by Tazewell Thompson
In the Fichandler Stage | April 3 –May 3, 2020

ABOUT: The 1940s Pittsburgh is the backdrop for August Wilson’s fifth cycle play and the second production in the August Wilson Festival. Seven lives are interconnected when old friend and blues singer Floyd Barton vows to turn his life around after a surprise windfall leaves him hopeful for a second chance. Infused with deep and soaring blues rhythms, this “rich and exceptionally vivid” (Variety) play pits the desire for a better future against the harsh realities ultimately leading to heartbreaking and inescapable circumstances.

TICKETS: Tickets for Seven Guitars are $41-95, subject to change and based on availability, plus applicable fees. For information on savings programs such as pay-your-age tickets, student discounts, Southwest Nights and hero’s discounts, visit arenastage.org/tickets/savings-programs.

Tickets may be purchased online at arenastage.orgby phone at 202-488-3300 or at the Sales Office at 1101 Sixth Street, SW, D.C.

Sales Office/Subscriptions: 202-488-3300
Group Sales Hotline for 10+ Tickets: 202-488-4380
TTY for deaf patrons: 202-484-0247

Info for patrons with disabilities: 202-488-3300

Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday at 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.
Saturday and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Weekday matinees at noon on Wednesday, April 15 and 22 and Tuesday, April 28

Closed captioning: GalaPro begins Friday, April 10
Open-captioned performance: Wednesday, April 29 at 7:30 p.m.
Audio-described performance: Saturday, May 2 at 2 p.m.
Southwest Night: Wednesday, April 8 at 7:30 p.m.

Full Calendar: arenastage.org/tickets/calendar

ARENA STAGE CAFÉ: Prix fixe meals are available at Richard’s Place, Arena Stage’s casual dining café, and include a choice of soup or salad, main entrée and dessert. Pre-ordered meals are only $29, and a la carte options are also available. To pre-order and see the menu, call 202-488-3300 or visit arenastage.org/plan-your-visit/richards-place-cafe/prix-fixe. The café opens two hours before the show. To view the concessions menu, visit arenastage.org/plan-your-visit/richards-place-cafe/concessions.

METRO: Arena Stage at the Mead Center for American Theater is only one block from the Waterfront-SEU Metro station (Green Line). When exiting the station, walk west on M Street toward Sixth Street, and the main entrance to the Mead Center is on the right.

PARKING: Parking is available in Arena Stage’s on-site garage. Subscribers may purchase parking in advance for $17. Single ticket buyers may purchase parking in advance for $20 or on the day of the performance for $24 on a first-come, first-served basis. Limited handicapped parking is available by reservation. Advanced parking must be reserved by calling 202-488-3300. The entrance to the Mead Center garage is on Maine Avenue between Sixth and Seventh streets, and the garage closes one hour after the day’s last performance ends. Patrons can also park at the Public Parking Garage at 1101 Fourth Street, one block from the Mead Center, for $15.

VALET PARKING: Arena Stage offers valet service at no additional cost to patrons with accessibility needs who call 202-488-3300 in advance to request valet parking. On days when valet parking is being used for accessibility, it is also available to general patrons one hour prior to show time for $25, based on availability. To use valet parking, pull up to the main entrance on Sixth Street.

For complete 2019/20 Season details, visit: arenastage.org/tickets/1920-season.

Twitter: @arenastage

About The Author