Encore Michigan

Detroit Rep presents August Wilson’s ‘Gem of The Ocean’ 1/13-3/5

Show Announcement December 28, 2022

DETROIT, December 23, 2022 – Detroit Repertory Theatre will be starting the new year with the Michigan Professional Premiere of Gem of the Ocean, written by one of the most prolific writers of the 20th century, August Wilson. August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean opens January 13, 2023, at 8:30 pm with a champagne reception and closes March 5, 2023.

In Gem of the Ocean, we are transported to Pittsburgh in 1904. Amid rising racial tensions, Citizen Barlow arrives on Aunt Ester’s doorstep needing his soul washed. Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old griot and healer, sends him across the Atlantic Ocean to the City of Bones, where he must confront the past and present to realize his future.

August Wilson (April 27, 1945- October 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. Recently his most notable works, Fences and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom were adapted into Oscar-winning films starring Tony and Oscar-winner Viola Davis.

John Sloan, III, Founding CEO/Artistic Director of Ghostlight Productions, Inc. and Producing Artistic Director of The Obsidian Theatre Festival, will be directing August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean. Sloan is a Detroit-based artist and community organizer. He is a UofM musical theatre alum and spent fourteen years working in NYC, LA, several regional theatres, and on the national tour of Disney’s The Lion King. Sloan is the Film Producer for the Black Motherhood and Parenting New Play Festival and a composer and lyricist whose most recent credits include Hastings Street and #24ViralMonologues. He currently serves as a lead organizer for Black Lives Matter Detroit, and is the Director of Operations for The Detroit Safety Team.

The company is comprised of Actor’s Equity stage managers, Yolanda Jack and Jabriel Milner. The cast includes returnees Madelyn Porter (HAMTRAMCK), B.J. Love (LUNA PIER), and Dan Johnson (ANN ARBOR). Making their DRT stage debuts are jøn kent (DETROIT), Hugh M. Duneghy II (DETROIT), and David W. Skillman (DETROIT). Domonique Byrd (DETROIT) is making her professional debut as an alum of Detroit Rep’s Actors Workshop.

Showtimes are Fridays and Saturday evenings at 8:30 PM, and matinees are 3:00 PM on Saturdays, and 2:00 PM on Sundays. 

Tickets for Gem of the Ocean are available now. Tickets are still among the most affordable for professional theatre in the region at $25 advance, and $30 the day of a performance. Purchase tickets and find information at www.detroitreptheatre.com or call the Box Office at (313) 868-1347.

August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. – www.concordtheatricals.com

Week of 9/25/2023

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