Registering for the Symposium is where you can purchase tickets to both performances as well as the Master Classes. Panel discussions are free and open to the public.

Monday October 23rd

6PM King Hedley II Cast Discussion

A show discussion with the cast and crew of King Hedley II.

Tuesday, October 24th 

12PM Panel Discussion: Wilson & Digital Production

Professor Teresa Dowell-Vest & writer and filmmaker Darnell Lamont Walker talk about the difficulties in transferring August Wilson’s American Century Cycle to film.

6PM Master Class: The Black Actor’s Approach

7PM Panel Discussion: Wilsonian Soldiers

Leslie M. Scott-Jones & Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates discuss the commitment Wilson demanded of his actors and how actors today deal with the demands of performing his work.

Wednesday, October 25th 

5PM Presentation: Genealogy Presentation

Edwin Kittel shares his family history from the beginning to the their migration. This presentation is free and open to the public. Mr. Kittel will take questions the following night during his discussion with Niya Bates..

7PM Panel Discussion: The Women of August Wilson

Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates and Teresa Dowell-Vest will be in conversation concerning Wilson’s development, usage and reverence for his female characters.

8PM Performance: Abiyoyo: A Story-Song Musical by Xavier Taylor

Abiyoyo: A Story-Song Musical is based on the African folk-tale Abiyoyo. After being banished from their Bantu village, young Azizi and his father Sam set off on a journey like no other. Dealing with their shared grief after the loss of Azizi’s mother, the two end up facing something even bigger: the giant Abiyoyo. Featuring folklore and a score that draws from the rich musical traditions of Africa, the musical’s sound is both authentic and powerful, and a unique musical experience that will captivate audiences of all ages. Will Azizi be able to save the village? And will family ties be the bonds that conquer all? Come along for an unforgettable journey of love, challenge, and triumph in Abiyoyo: A Story-Song Musical.

Thursday, October 26th

6PM Panel Discussion: The Men of August Wilson

Justin Emeka talks with Damani Harrison about the varied male characters in Wilson’s work. They will discuss how they evolved and what they believe Wilson was trying to tell us about the Black male experience throughout the century.

7PM Discovering Wilson with Edwin Kittel

Edwin Kittel shares family histories as well as recollections of his brother as artist and sibling. The talk will be moderated by Niya Bates and Mr. Kittel will take questions from the audience.

This talk is free and open to the public.

Friday, October 27th

12PM Panel Discussion: Wilson, Justice & Revolution

Dr. Tawnya Pettiford-Wates and David Vaughn Straughn discuss the threads of revolution and calls for justice for the Black community that are prevalent throughout Wilson’s American Century Cycle.

4PM Master Class: Shakespeare & the Black Aesthetic

 In this masterclass, director/teacher Justin Emeka will discuss the history and implications of Black actors performing in plays by William Shakespeare; as well as demonstrate his technique and approach to incorporating Black Culture within classic texts written by European authors.  His goal is to help performers gain confidence in their ability to fully “own the text” and embody their authentic selves inside the world of the plays.  As a bonus, he will share his recent 10 min. film, “Six Winters Gone Still” which is an adaptation of a scene from Richard II in a Black contemporary context.  

6PM Master Class: Directing the Black Theatrical Voice

Color Blind Casting is NOT a Thing! Directing Black Actors…Directing Black Plays…Require Directors SEEING Black People! TDV discusses directing with empathy and cultural competency. The participants will explore the intentionality of casting and directing plays with people of color, Indigenous/Native Americans, and Black People.

8PM Performance: How I Learned What I Learned by August Wilson

Originally performed by August Wilson himself, this theatrical memoir is a story-tellers walk through life as a Black artist. 10 CPG members have taken a piece of the story and will pull it together for ONE NIGHT ONLY.

Saturday, October 28th 

6PM Panel Discussion: The Gift of Wilson

All of our practitioners talk about our experiences creating and performing Wilson, how being part of this work has educated us, changed us as well as how we approach the other theatrical work we do. Delving into the  understandings, epiphanies, questions, and truth this work, this project, this writer supplied us with.

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