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July 13, 2007
August Wilson and STC

Sacramento Theatre Company's Mark Standriff called today to say that on Monday, STC will announce a dramatic programming initiative. Standriff, the company's newly appointed managing director, says STC plans on producing all of August Wilson’s 10-play Pittsburgh Cycle in chronological order.

The Seattle-based Wilson, who died in 2005, wrote 10 full-length plays centered on the African American experience in the United States - one play set in each decade.

Standriff hopes STC can open the first play, “Gem of the Ocean,” in the spring of 2009. “Gem” was produced at the American Conservatory Theatre in San Francisco last spring and a production currently runs at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in Ashland.

Standriff says as a former artistic director, he believes theaters sometimes worry too much about the short term and don’t think enough about the long term. He also says that, as a managing director, announcing a 10-year commitment to producing Wilson’s works gives STC an opportunity to court supporters for a long-term commitment to diversity in Sacramento professional theater.

Wilson hasn't been produced professionally in Sacramento since the late '80s. Under artistic director Mark Cuddy, STC did both "Fences" and "Joe Turner's Come and Gone."

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