Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts continues its 25th consecutive season with Joe Turner’s Come and Gone by August Wilson and directed by Sonya McCarter, opening March 1 and playing through March 17. This will be the third installment of August Wilson’s Century Cycle Series that Theatre Conspiracy at the Alliance for the Arts has produced. The Cycle charts the African-American experience through each decade of the 20th century.
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. Each denizen of the boarding house has a different relationship to a past of slavery as well as to the urban present. They include proprietors, an eccentric clairvoyant with a penchant for old country voodoo, a young homeboy up from the South, and a mysterious stranger searching for his wife. One of the most spellbinding and emotionally rich plays in Wilson’s Century Cycle, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone shines a light on America’s newly freed men and women determined to take their rightful place in a new world.
“A large amount of the history taught about African-Americans centers on slavery but very little is taught about the years following slavery,” says director and Alliance Community Engagement Coordinator Sonya McCarter. “August Wilson does a beautiful job of bringing to light the triumphs and tragedies of a people searching for a place to fit in a post slavery world. As with most of Wilson’s work, this play has universal appeal as it highlights a person’s search for identity, love and a place to call home.”
The Joe Turner’s Come and Gone cast features local actors:
Nuniez Philor as Seth Holly, owner of the boarding house
Tijuanna Clemons as Bertha Holly, Seth’s wife
Lemec Bernard as Herald Loomis, a resident of the boarding house
Cantrella Canady as Martha Loomis Pentecost, Herald Loomis’ wife
Jim Yarnes as Rutherford Selig, a peddler
Kristoffer Reid as Jermey Furlow, a younger resident of the boarding house
Cicero McCarter as Bynum Walker, a rootworker
Rozaria Brown as Zonia Loomis, Herald’s 11-year-old daugheter
Kavon Simmons as Ruben Mercer, a boy who lives next door
Ruthgenia Augustin as Molly Cunningham, a young resident woman of the boarding house
Katherine Oni as Mattie Campbell, a tenant of Seth’s
Individual tickets to each show are $26, $11 for students or $22 for Alliance members. Performances are Thursday, Friday and Saturdays with a new 7:30 p.m. start time and Sunday matinees at 2 p.m. An audio described performance will take place on March 17. Reservation of headsets is required prior to the show by calling 239-939-2787.
To widen the post-show conversation and discuss what the art onstage means to us as individuals and as a society, the Alliance will facilitate a community conversation, also on March 17. The opportunity is included with ticket purchase.
Joe Turner’s Come and Gone is sponsored by Noreen Raney. To purchase tickets or for more information, call the box office at 239-939-2787, visit 10091 McGregor Blvd. Fort Myers, FL or go online at www.ArtInLee.org/Theatre.