Make Room for Women in the World of August Wilson

I am so full right now! I’ve attended Opening Night for Two Trains Running, A Concert Reading of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and a panel discussion of Women in August Wilson Panel. All of these are a part of the Goodman Theatre’s Celebration of the legendary playwright August Wilson.  

Sometimes I’ve had a bit of trouble listening, I can be a little too zealous with talking. Busy trying to prove something instead of trying to learn something. When I arrived at the Women in August Wilson panel, I made up in mind that my only job was to listen and I am so glad I did.

There was a gracious panel of women with various Wilson experience. Seret Scott, Roslyn Ruff, TaRon Patton,Regina Taylor, video panelist Phylicia Rashad and first lady Constanza Romero.There was so much greatness in that room that I’m surprised it did not explode. It was an  honor to simply have a seat at the table and boy was I fed.  The women spoke of the challenges, surprises and gifts from working with the text. Over and over the response was the words. Everything needed was written in the words.

Roslyn Ruff  (winner of both the Obie Award and Lucille Lortel  Award in 2007 and 2013 respectively) spoke of the catharsis she experienced while performing in  The Piano Lesson after experiencing a major loss in her life. She was able to live in that final scene and say thank you to her mom, uncle and aunt who had all passed in the past 9 months.

We laughed and we cried. It was like being at a slumber party with all of your great friends  and all of your favorite aunties. August was known to listen a great deal. His listening made it possible for him to write and for us to speak. I’m so glad he listened…

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Does anyone know of a woman (or women) who has completed the American Century Cycle in professional theatre or come close? Please comment below!IMG_1766 (1)

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