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31 Dec 2011

Plays and Players begins 100th anniversary celebration with ‘Joe Turner’s Come and Gone’

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December 31, 2011 Category: Entertainment Posted by:

Beginning Jan. 19, the play from Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson will take a look at American Life during the time period of the theater’s inception.


Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, written by a man considered the greatest American playwright of the 20th Century, two-time Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson, premieres at Plays & Players Mainstage at 1714 Delancey Place, Jan. 19 – Feb. 4; Wednesdays at 7 PM; Thursdays, Fridays & Saturdays at 8 PM; Sundays at 3 PM; admission is $25 in advance, $30 at the door. Group rate (for purchase of 10 or more tickets) at $12 each. Order online at or by calling 1-800-595-4TIX.


A newly reinvented theater company in a beautiful historic theater, Plays & Players’ dedication to local artists is in full display with an all-local cast starring Damien Wallace as Bynum and Kash Goins as Herald Loomis.


The story takes place in 1911 as emancipated slaves move north in search of employment and a chance to start over. Seth and Bertha Holly’s boarding house in Pittsburgh offers a new place for many to call home. Their routines are shaken when an angry and lost man arrives looking for his wife he hadn’t seen for years after he was captured and put in a chain gang by a man named Joe Turner. These once strangers are forced to confront their own demons and to come together to help him find his way.


Joe Turner’s Come and Gone is directed by Daniel Student, the Producing Artistic Director at Plays & Players, for whom he also directed Take Me Out, Early in the Mourning, Oleanna, and last year’s hit musical, A New Brain.


“August Wilson is our Shakespeare,” Student said. “His stories are our shared history, our uniquely American history. His plays have roots in the rich traditions that go back to early African and Western Theater, but his characters are everyday people affected by the events that marked the 20th Century. Engaging in his work is an act of self-discovery; much like the characters onstage, we find ourselves looking into the pasts of our families, our community, and of our nation for answers.”


Kash Goins is an actor and a playwright, and created and produces the Philadelphia Urban Theater Festival (PUTF) through his company, GoKash Productions. His play, VI Degrees, won Best Play in the 2009 NYC Downtown Urban Theater Festival, which he also adapted into a short film that is gaining national exposure. He was a member of Freedom Theater Rep, where legendary August Wilson collaborator and director, Walter Dallas mentored him.


Damien Wallace has performed in seven plays by August Wilson, including Troy Maxon in Fences at the Ritz Theatre and Solly Two Kings in Gem of the Ocean at Bushfire Theater.


Joe Turner’s Come and Gone also stars James Tolbert, Cherie Jazmyn, Jamal Douglas, Candace Thomas, Mlé Chester, Bob Weick, Lauryn Jones, Brett Gray, and Erin Stewart.

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