Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

By August Wilson
Directed by Irene Lewis
Apr 7–May 9, 2010

The only one of Wilson’s monumental cycle to shift scene from Pittsburgh—landing us instead in Chicago, where we find legendary monarch of the Blues, Ma Rainey, and her marvelous assemblage of less-than-merry musicians. As we wait to discover Will She or Won’t She, we learn gradually of the pitfalls and perils that lie in wait for each of these proud, ambitious artists outside the recording studio walls, and inside their sometimes tormented hearts. After all, it’s 1927; and with the Jazz Age in full swing it’s a moment as full of possibility as risk for those striving to achieve the American side of being African American. Featuring CENTERSTAGE Associate Artist E. Faye Butler in the title role of this modern classic.

For further background information on the play, as well as in inside look at our production, check out our dramaturgy blog.

Parental GuidelinesWhile an American classic, Wilson’s play is better suited for adults and mature teens, taking into consideration its implied violence, profane language, and racially sensitive situations.

Running Time: 2 hours 35 minutes including one 15-minute intermission.

Cast (in speaking order)

Laurence O’Dwyer*

Merwin Goldsmith*

David Fonteno*

Thomas Jefferson Byrd*

Ernest Perry*
Slow Drag

Maurice McRae*

E. Faye Butler*
Ma Rainey

Toccarra Cash*
Dussie Mae

Ro Boddie*

Jeb Kreager*

Lori M. Doyle*
Stage Manager

Chris Borg*
Assistant Stage Manager

*Member of Actors' Equity Association


Artistic Team

Irene Lewis

Riccardo Hernandez
Scenic Designer

Candice Donnelly
Costume Designer

Rui Rita
Lighting Designer

David Budries
Sound Designer

William Foster McDaniels
Music Director

J. Allen Suddeth
Fight Choreographer

Faedra Chatard Carpenter
Production Dramaturg




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