Booker T. Washington High School for the Performing and Visual Arts (BTWHSPVA) theatre department is currently in rehearsal for the opening of their production, Walking with Wilson: The Works of August Wilson. The director, Vickie Washington, actress and BTWHSPVA theatre department staff, creates a compilation of the acclaimed playwrites best works. The production will highlight dance and musical numbers all performed by students and featuring the music of Curtis Mayfield and Nina Simon. It will further include all 10 plays in the cycle completed by Wilson before his untimely death of liver cancer in 2005.
August Wilson was born Frederick August Kittel in the slums of Pittsburg Philadelphia in 1945. At 14, he dropped out of school after a teacher accused him of plagiarism, stating that someone of color couldn't possibly write as well as he did. In the early 60's, after the death of his white German immigrant father, Wilson officially changed his name and co-founded the Black Horizons Theatre in Pittsburg. Ma Rainey's Black Bottom brought Wilson notoriety when it was produced at Yale University and later in New York. Wilson would go on to receive a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award for Fences (once performed at the Pasadena Playhouse with Laurence Fishborne and Angela Basset) and a second Pulitzer for Piano Lessons.
Ms. Washington's production will open on February 18th in the Montgomery Arts Theatre at BTWHSPVA. Washington once performed the role of Berniece in Theatre Three Production of Piano Lesson. The role for this production will be performed by third year theatre student, Tyler English-Beckwith.
For tickets and additional information call 972-925-1200.