Gem of the Ocean

ISBN-10: 1559362804
ISBN-13: 9781559362801
Edition: 2006
Authors: August Wilson
List price: $14.95 Buy it from $5.49
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Description: "No one except perhaps Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams has aimed so high and achieved so much in the American theater."-John Lahr, The New Yorker "A swelling battle hymn of transporting beauty. Theatergoers who have followed August Wilson's  More...

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Book details

List price: $14.95
Copyright year: 2006
Publisher: Theatre Communications Group, Incorporated
Publication date: 5/1/2006
Binding: Paperback
Pages: 112
Size: 5.75" wide x 8.50" long x 0.25" tall
Weight: 0.528
Language: English

"No one except perhaps Eugene O'Neill and Tennessee Williams has aimed so high and achieved so much in the American theater."-John Lahr, The New Yorker "A swelling battle hymn of transporting beauty. Theatergoers who have followed August Wilson's career will find in Gem a touchstone for everything else he has written."-Ben Brantley, The New York Times "Wilson's juiciest material. The play holds the stage and its characters hammer home, strongly, the notion of newfound freedom."-Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune Gem of the Ocean is the play that begins it all. Set in 1904 Pittsburgh, it is chronologically the first work in August Wilson's decade-by-decade cycle dramatizing the African American experience during the 20th century-an unprecedented series that includes the Pulitzer Prize__winning plays Fences and The Piano Lesson. Aunt Esther, the drama's 287-year-old fiery matriarch, welcomes into her Hill District home Solly Two Kings, who was born into slavery and scouted for the Union Army, and Citizen Barlow, a young man from Alabama searching for a new life. Gem of the Ocean recently played across the country and on Broadway, with Phylicia Rashad as Aunt Esther. Earlier in 2005, on the completion of the final work of his ten play cycle-surely the most ambitious American dramatic project undertaken in our history-August Wilson disclosed his bout with cancer, an illness of unusual ferocity that would eventually claim his life on October 2. Fittingly the Broadway theatre where his last play will be produced in 2006 has been renamed the August Wilson Theater in his honor. His legacy will animate the theatre and stir the human heart for decades to come.

Playwright August Wilson was born on April 27, 1945 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. His experiences of living in a primarily black community and then being the only black student in his class at a Roman Catholic high school would inform his dramatic writings. He dropped out of school at the age of 15 and continued his education on his own. Wilson wrote a ten play cycle that chronicles each decade of the black experience in the 20th century. Each of his plays focuses on what he perceived as the largest issue to confront African-Americans in that decade. He won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Fences and Piano Lesson, the best play Tony Award for Fences, and seven New York Drama Critics' Circle awards. He also received the Whiting Foundation Award, the American Theatre Critics Award, the 1999 National Humanities Medal awarded by the President, and numerous honorary degrees. He died of liver cancer on October 2, 2005 at the age of 60.

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