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Theatre Conspiracy producing August Wilson’s last play


Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts is producing August Wilson’s last play, Radio Golf, October 19-29. Radio Golf is also the last of the ten plays comprising Wilson’s Century Cycle. Wilson died several months after Radio Golf‘s premiere in 2005 from cancer at the age of 60.

Radio Golf revolves around an ambitious real estate developer by the name of Harmond Wilks and his partner, Roosevelt Hicks. The college buddies are on the verge of sealing a deal that will replace a decrepit section of the Hill District with an upscale, mixed-use complex that will include a Whole Foods, Barnes & Noble and Starbucks. In addition to making them wealthy, Wilks and Hicks expect the project to give them access to the kinds of people who can assure their social advancement – and support Wilks’ run to become Pittsburgh’s first black mayor and his wife’s appointment as the governor’s press secretary. However, one man, Elder Joseph Barlow, stands in their way. Even though he’s on the verge of an almost-guaranteed win as a mayoral candidate, Wilks finds his identity shaken when his morals and ideals are questioned by those around him – much to the consternation of his wife and business partner.

With Radio Golf, August Wilson does not just indict gentrification, but questions the morality of upward mobility and assimilation into white society at the expense of black history, tradition and culture.

Sonya McCarter returns to direct her sixth of Wilson’s ten Century Cycle plays. She previously directed Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars and King Hedley II, all for Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts.

McCarter enjoys a cast that similarly has considerable August Wilson experience and chops. Cicero McCarter has appeared in all five of Theatre Conspiracy’s previous August Wilson productions – The Piano Lesson (Wining Boy), King Hedley II (Canewell, otherwise known as Stool Pigeon), Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Bynum Walker), Seven Guitars (Hedley) and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom (Slow Drag). Lemec Bernard played Mister in King Hedley II and a brooding, menacing man searching for the wife who abandoned him when he was enslaved for seven years in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Elvis Mortley portrayed the preacher Avery in The Piano Lesson and Toledo in Ma Rainey, and Mark Drew played Lymon in The Piano Lesson.

Radio Golf promises outstanding performances of material produced by one of America’s greatest playwrights at the very height of his abbreviated career.

Tickets are $27 for members of the Alliance and $32 for non-members and available by calling 239-939-2787.

Go here for play dates, times and ticket information.

August 28, 2023; revised October 19, 2023.

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