Two River Theater Company, under the leadership of Artistic Director John Dias and Managing Director Michael Hurst, continues its 2012-2013 Season with August Wilson's Two Trains Running, directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson. A one-week extension has been added to the run prior to the start of performances, which will begin in Two River's Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, February 2 and continue through Sunday, March 3. The new press opening is Friday, February 15 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or www.trtc.org. This production is sponsored by a grant from the Blanche & Irving Laurie Foundation. The lead production sponsor is Wells Fargo and the co-sponsors are Brookdale Community College and NJ Transit.
Expert August Wilson interpreter Ruben Santiago-Hudson most recently directed a critically acclaimed production of The Piano Lesson for Signature Theatre. He made his Two River debut last season with Wilson's Jitney, which played an extended run. Two Trains Running is the powerful, often funny, always compassionate story of ordinary people who find community and hope in a Pittsburgh diner amid the turbulent political upheaval and social change of the 1960s. It is the seventh in Wilson's 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle chronicling the lives of African-Americans in each decade of the 20th century.
Set in Memphis Lee's restaurant in the Hill District of Pittsburgh in 1969, Two Trains Running will star Harvy Blanks (West), Anthony Chisholm (Hambone), Chuck Cooper (Memphis), John Earl Jelks (Wolf), Owiso Odera (Sterling), Roslyn Ruff (Risa), and James A. Williams (Holloway).
Says Artistic Director John Dias, "Ruben Santiago-Hudson won a Tony Award as an actor in one of August Wilson's plays. Now, he is the foremost director of these masterpieces of dramatic storytelling and poetic language. In recent years, he has assembled a true family of extraordinary 'Wilsonians'-performers and designers-including many of the great actors who worked with Wilson during his lifetime and a new generation of artists. As a theater company, we are honored to be a home for August Wilson, Ruben, and his collaborators. Our Red Bank audiences have embraced them too-we've extended this production of Two Trains Running before we begin performances to accommodate demand at the Box Office."
The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan; costume designer Karen Perry; lighting designer Xavier Pierce; sound designer Robert Kaplowitz; and composer Bill Sims Jr. The casting is by Heidi Griffiths and the stage manager is Amanda Michaels.
August Wilson grew up in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, the setting for all but one of his plays. His work has been seen across the United States, as well as on Broadway and all over the world. Two Trains Running-for which Wilson was a Pulitzer Prize finalist and a Tony Award nominee-had its debut at Yale Repertory Theatre in 1990 and opened on Broadway in 1992. The other plays in the Pittsburgh Cycle (also known as the Century Cycle) are Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. He was the recipient of numerous awards, including two Pulitzer Prizes (for Fences and The Piano Lesson), a Tony Award for Fences, and Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney.