UVA Drama Performs August Wilson’s “Seven Guitars”

Isaac Rowlingson, staff writer


On Saturday, Nov. 11, the University of Virginia drama department performed Seven Guitars by Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson. Seven Guitars was directed by Theresa M. Davis and was performed in the Ruth Caplin Theatre. This particular play is part of a larger sequence of ten plays written by August Wilson that portray the black experience throughout 20th century America.

In the program, they printed a note from the playwright. In the words of August Wilson, “‘As a black American artist, I have sought in all my work to restore the experience to a primary role, to create in essence a world in which the black American is the spiritual center, thus giving the events of history a different perspective. … Despite my interest in history, I have always been more concerned with culture, and while my plays have an overall historical feel, their settings are fictions, and they are peopled with invented characters whose personal histories fit within the historical context in which they lived.’”

The atmosphere was created by songs such as “Backwater Blues” by Bessie Smith and various songs by Delta bluesman Robert Johnson. Occasionally throughout the play, Chicago blues played from the speakers at times chosen by the playwright. August Wilson further notes, “‘I have tried to extract some measure of truth from their lives as they struggle to remain whole in the face of so many things that threaten to pull them asunder.’”

August Wilson concluded his note by saying, “‘I happen to think that the contents of my mother’s life—her myths, her superstitions, her prayers, the contents of her pantry, the smell of her kitchen, the song that escaped her sometimes parched lips, her thoughtful repose and pregnant laughter—are all worthy of art. Hence, Seven Guitars.’ – August Wilson, 1995, Goodman Theatre.” The remaining shows will be on Nov 17 and 18 at 8 p.m. and Nov 12 and 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets can be purchased through the UVA drama department’s website and cost $8 for students attending any school.

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Posted by on Nov 15 2017. Filed under Arts & Entertainment, Local News, News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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