Past Shows

The Piano Lesson
by August Wilson

December 5-15, 2019

The Piano Lesson wrestles with the problem of what African Americans can best do with their cultural heritage. It seems to ask the question of how best to put history to use. August Wilson has been quoted as saying, “My generation of blacks knew very little about the past of our parents. They shielded us from the indignities they suffered”.

He saw this as a problem. Wilson felt that it was important for African Americans to be aware of their past, even if many parts of it were filled with struggle. The Piano Lesson is a parable of sorts that expresses the idea that African Americans must embrace where they’ve come from before they will truly be able to move forward.

The play won August Wilson his second Pulitzer Prize in 1990.

The play is directed by David Vaughn Straughn and produced by Edwina Herring.

August 22-September 1, 2019

Imagine a kingdom located in CVille, uncorrupted by the wyte gaze. Imagine if Vinegar Hill, Gospel Hill, Star Hill had survived and thrived. If traditions from West Africa, South America and everywhere else we were stolen from created a community that resisted an Anglo sensibility, what would that look like? Sound like? Feel like?

This is the story of a Prince, dealing with the loss of a father and a message from his ancestor. A mother grieving a husband while trying to protect her kingdom and her son. A brother consumed with a jealousy so great it forces him to do the unthinkable. The ultimate Black family drama.

The Jefferson School African American Heritage Center and the Charlottesville Players Guild bring you….Hambone.

Directed by Shelby Marie Edwards

Adaptation by Leslie M. Scott-Jones

Produced by Mitsuko Nazeer.

Directed by Ti Ames
July 18-July 29, 2018

Wednesday-Saturday doors open 7:30pm

Sunday Matinee doors open 1:30pm

There’s William Shakespeare’s Macbeth and then there’s ours. BLACK MAC.

We all know the story of Macbeth: the weird sisters, the blood, the insanity, all that good stuff. But why? Why tell this story? BLACK MAC seeks to answer that question. This July, the Charlottesville Players Guild presents a retelling of The Scottish Play seen and told through the eyes of Blackness. This ain’t your “normal” Shakespeare. Join us, the Community, as we share the story of Macbeth just like we always have and always will!

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson
Directed by Ike Anderson
Producer Leslie Scott-Jones

April 18-April 29, 2018

Wednesday-Saturday doors open 7pm

Sunday Matinee doors open 1pm

August Wilson’s JOE TURNER’S COME AND GONE is set in a Pittsburgh boarding house in 1911. Owners Seth and Bertha Holly play host to a makeshift family of people who come to stay, some for days, some longer, during the Great Migration of the 1910s when descendants of former slaves moved in large numbers from the South toward the industrial cities of the North, seeking new jobs, new lives and new beginnings. Among those on the move are Herald Loomis and his young daughter, Zonia. Haunted by the past, they are headed wherever the road takes them in search of the long gone Martha, Herald’s wife and Zonia’s mother. Herald arrives at the boarding house unsettled, dark and secretive. Seth Holly is suspicious and wants him out almost as soon as he arrives, but Bertha and the others see him differently, and by action and example, they help set him on the way to recovering his lost spirit and finding a new life.

Jitney by August Wilson
Friday, September 15 – September 25, 2017

The eighth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle is set in a gypsy cab station in 1977. Regular taxi cabs will not travel to the Pittsburgh Hill District of the 1970s, and so the residents turn to jitneys—unofficial, unlicensed taxi cabs—that operate in the community. This play portrays the lives of the jitney drivers at the station owned by Jim Becker.

Fences by August Wilson

April 21 – 30, 2017

The focus of Wilson’s attention in Fences is Troy, a 53-year-old head of household who struggles with providing for his family. The play takes place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania; although never officially named, it makes mention of several key locations in Pittsburgh. In his younger days, Troy was an excellent player in Negro league baseball and continued practicing baseball while in prison for an accidental murder he had committed during a robbery. Because the color barrier had not yet been broken in Major League Baseball, Troy was unable to get into MLB to make good money or to save for the future. He now lives a menial, though respectable life of trash collecting; later in the play, he remarkably crosses the race barrier and becomes the first black truck driver in Pittsburgh instead of just a barrel lifter.

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