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'Joe Turner' to close out this Sunday

On February 14, 2020

NEW ORLEANS (February 14, 2020) – The final performances of the August Wilson play, “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” will be held this weekend in the Samuel Dubois Cook Theatre in honor of Black History Month.

Theatre productions are scheduled tonight through Sunday, Feb. 16. Tonight and Saturday’s perfomances are set for 7:30 p.m., with a 3 p.m. matinee Sunday. The play’s run began last weekend.

The play, set in August 1911 in a Pittsburgh boarding house, is the second installment of playwright August Wilson’s decade-by-decade chronicle of the African-American experience, “The Pittsburgh Cycle.” The play chronicles the struggles and lives in the second decade of the 20th century, portraying former slaves living in the North dealing with racism and discrimination.

Starring as the principal characters are New Orleans sophomore Duron Dunbar and Childersburg, Ala., senior Nia Garrett, as Seth and Bertha Holly, owners of the boardinghouse, and Houston junior Elvin Stewart as root-worker Bynum Walker. All are theatre majors.

Other cast members include Ryan Browder as peddler Rutherford Selig; Jacques Chandler as resident Jeremy Furlow; Zachary Paige-Westbrook as resident Herald Loomis; Destinii Wells-Kimball as his daughter, Zonia Loomis; Courtney Edwards as resident Mattie Campbell; Atlantis Clay as Reuben Mercer, a boy who lives next door; Brianna Wyatt as resident Molly Cunningham; and Olivia Johnson, as Martha Loomis Pentecost, Herald Loomis’ wife.

Assistant Professor Ray Vrazel, director, said the program’s spring production is appropriate for Black History Month and the theatre’s 85th season because it “illuminates the enormous challenges faced by a resilient and courageous people.”

“This is a play that will open your mind and heart to an aspect of American history seldom told,” Vrazel said.

Ninyaka White is assistant director for the production, and Naila Dabon is stage manager.

For more information, call (504) 816-4857.

(Taiyler Mitchell contributed to this report.)

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