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Theatre arts department presents August Wilson's "Joe Turner's Come and Gone"


BLACKSBURG, Va., April 2, 2007 – Virginia Tech’s Theatre Arts Department presents August Wilson’s "Joe Turner’s Come and Gone," April 11 through 15 at the Squires Haymarket Theatre. Performance times are at 7:30 p.m. each evening with a 2 p.m. matinee on Sunday, April 15.

The production features Equity Actor Michael Anthony Williams, well known for his extensive experience performing Wilson’s “Decade Plays.” Post show dialogues will follow the evening performances.

Wilson’s "Joe Turner’s Come and Gone" is considered to be one of his most famous plays. Set in Pittsburgh in 1911, it explores the struggles freed slaves faced as they moved northward to find work, new lives, and new identities. Written in 1984 and produced on Broadway in 1988, the play examines issues basic to African-American culture, including the scars of slavery and the struggles experienced by successive generations in creating new lives while also trying to discover their African heritage.

August Wilson is a literary giant among American playwrights. His works have been honored with two Pulitzer Prizes, numerous New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Best Plays, and a Tony Award for Best Play. His award winning plays include: "Fences" (Pulitzer), "The Piano Lesson" (Pulitzer), "Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom," "Jitney," "Two Trains Running," and "Joe Turner’s Come and Gone."

A poet turned playwright, Wilson is appreciated for his poetic and beautiful writings that draw upon his personal experience, family history, and the writings of African Americans whose works he started reading at age twelve. His ten “Decade Plays” describe what life was like for African-Americans from 1900-1990. Wilson’s legacy to all Americans is a lovingly written history of the African-American experience.

Theatre Arts’ Joe Turner’s Come and Gone is the first grant recipient from the Virginia Tech Multi-Cultural Arts Fund. The fund was established with an endowment provided by Virginia Tech Business School graduate Bruce Carver. Carver, an African-American, is Vice President and Chief Information Officer of the Dana Corporation.

Tickets are available at the Squires Ticket Office Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., by calling (540) 231-5615, online at the Ticket Office website, or at the door one hour prior to show time. Tickets are $9 for the general public and $7 for students and senior citizens.

For more information about this production and upcoming theatrical events at Virginia Tech, visit the Theatre Arts website or call (540) 231-5200.