August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean Comes to Two River Theater Beginning June 8 | Playbill

Regional News August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean Comes to Two River Theater Beginning June 8

Crystal A. Dickinson and Brandon J. Dirden lead the revival at the New Jersey venue, directed by Delicia Turner Sonnenberg.

Crystal A. Dickinson and Brandon J. Dirden

A revival of August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean begins at Two River Theater in New Jersey June 8. Delicia Turner Sonnenberg is directing the new production, the seventh in Two River's work to stage all 10 of Wilson's Century Cycle plays, with performances continuing through June 30.

Leading the cast are Broadway alums Crystal A. Dickinson (Clybourne Park) as Black Mary and Brandon J. Dirden (Skeleton Crew) as Caesar Wilks, alongside Stephanie Berry as Aunt Ester, Brian D. Coats as Eli, Bill Irwin as Rutherford Selig, James A. Williams as Solly Two Kings, and Stephen Tyrone Williams as Citizen Barlow.

Set in 1904, Gem of the Ocean is chronologically the first of Wilson's Century Cycle, a series of 10 plays exploring the Black experience in America throughout the 20th century. The fantastical story revolves around 285-year-old Aunt Esther who guides a young man from Alabama on a spiritual awakening. The work premiered in 2003 at Chicago's Goodman Theatre, coming to Broadway in 2004 and earning five 2005 Tony nominations.

Two River's production features scenic design by Lawrence E. Moten III, costume design by Nicole Jescinth Smith, lighting design by Sherrice Mojgani, sound design and music by Fitz Patton, and intimacy and movement by Kaja Dunn. Kate Croasdale is production stage manager, and Alex Murphy is assistant stage manager.

Two River Theater's production is being presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc.


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