Two River Theater Launches Its 2015/2016 Season With August Wilson’s Seven Guitars Directed By Brandon J. Dirden

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Two River Theater announces the full cast and creative team for its production of August Wilson’s Seven Guitars, directed by Brandon J. Dirden, an award-winning actor who is making his directorial debut with this production.

Among his many credits as an actor in the plays of August Wilson, Brandon J. Dirden made his professional debut in a 1990 production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone at the Alley Theatre and was honored with an Obie Award for his performance in The Piano Lesson at Signature Theatre in 2012. He made his Two River Theater debut in Wilson’s Jitney. He has also appeared at Two River in the world premiere of Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s Your Blues Ain’t Sweet Like Mine and in Topdog/Underdog, in which he starred opposite his brother Jason Dirden under the direction of the play’s author, Suzan-Lori Parks. On Broadway, his credits include Clybourne Park (in which he appeared with his wife, Crystal Dickinson) and, most recently, All the Way, in which he starred as Martin Luther King Jr. opposite Bryan Cranston’s Lyndon Johnson. On television, he can be seen as Agent Aderholt in the FX series The Americans.

Seven Guitars is the 1940s play in Wilson’s 10-play cycle exploring the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th century. Set in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in 1948, it tells the story of Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton, played at Two River by Kevin Mambo (Fela!), a blues guitarist who sits on the edge of stardom. The production will feature original music by acclaimed jazz musician Jason Moran.

Featured in the cast are Brittany Bellizeare (Ruby), Brian D. Coats (Hedley), Crystal Dickinson (Louise), Jason Dirden (Canewell), Charlie Hudson III (Red Carter), and Christina Acosta Robinson (Vera).

Seven Guitars is the third play in Wilson’s American Century Cycle produced by Two River, following the theater’s acclaimed mountings of Jitney and Two Trains Running. Performances will begin in Two River’s Rechnitz Theater, 21 Bridge Avenue, on Saturday, September 12 and continue through Sunday, October 4. The opening night performance is Friday, September 18 at 8pm. Tickets are available from 732.345.1400 or tworivertheater.org. The lead production sponsor is Springpoint Senior Living Foundation at The Atrium at Navesink Harbor.

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