Prepare to be bewitched by August Wilson's lyrical 1940s entry into his Pittsburgh Cycle, a remarkable decade-by-decade exploration of the African-American experience in the 20th century. Kent Gash, director of the musical theater and acting studio at NYU's Tisch School of the Arts, directs this moving epic that finds abundant spirit in the everyday and overflows with music, mystery and humor.

Released from the workhouse, Floyd "Schoolboy" Barton returns to the Hill District to discover that he has a hit record! Even though the bluesman does not have two nickels to rub together, nothing is going to stop him from taking advantage of this opportunity... until he is found dead. Schoolboy's story becomes the bass line to the many melodies - lively, menacing, brooding - that rise from this vibrant community.

LENGTH OF SHOW

2 hours 50 minutes (includes one intermission)

Sponsors

Performance Schedule

August 11 - September 11

Extended through September 11

Evenings

Tue, Thu, Fri & Sat 8:00pm

Wed 7:30pm

Sun 7:00pm

Matinees

Thu Aug 25, 1:00pm

Sat Aug 20 & Sept 3, 2:00pm

Every Sun 2:00p


Special Performances

August 11 - 14 | Previews

Come see the work-in-progress at a discounted ticket price. You will see a full performance but tweaks may still be made before opening.

August 16 | Opening Night

The theater's most festive evening! Meet the cast and director and enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and hors d'oeuvres at a festive post-show reception.

Ticket Prices

Performance Center
seating
Side
seating
Preview $34 $34
Tue (exc Opening) $38 $35
Wed, Thu, Sun Eve $44 $39
Fri Eve $50 $45
Sat Eve & Opening Night $55 $50
Matinees $44 $39

All phone and online orders are subject to a $7 per order fee.

Disabled seating is currently only available through the MTC Box Office (415.388.5208 or in person). We apologize for any inconvenience.

Discounts

Seniors (65 and above)

$6 off Thu & Sat matinees, $3 discount to all other performances

'Under 30'

$20, all performances, must show valid ID

Please note, discount tickets are only available through the MTC Box Office (415.388.5208 or in person). They are not available online.

To see more discounts, click here.

MTC Engaged Special Events

After Words

August 14

After our Sunday Preview matinee in the Boyer Theatre, Margot Melcon, MTC's Literary Manager/Dramaturg, will conduct a post-show interview with a special guest.

Director's Night

August 17 & 31

Lively post-show conversations with the director and/or cast members on two Wednesday evenings.

Perspectives

August 25 | Matinee only

(show at 1pm, pre-show talk at noon)

A topical speaker (TBA) will offer insights into the play. Bring your bag lunch. Coffee & cookies will be served.

Post-Show Q&As

After most shows

Join us when a member of MTC's artistic staff (often with one or more members of the cast) hosts a Q&A talk back after every performance, except on Saturday evenings, and Opening and Closing Nights.

Cast

  • Shinelle Azoroh*

    Shinelle Azoroh*

    Ruby

    Shinelle Azoroh (Ruby) makes her MTC debut in Seven Guitars. She is a recent graduate of A.C.T.'s MFA program, where her mainstage credits include Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet and A Christmas Carol. She was most recently seen in the A.C.T. MFA production of As You Like It. Her other MFA performance credits include Hotel Paradiso and Once in a Lifetime. Azoroh received her BA in Theater from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, where her performance credits include In the Blood for the Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival, Intimate Apparel and August Wilson's The Piano Lesson. Azoroh is a founding artistic member of Renovation Theater Company, which most recently produced her one-woman show, Cinnamon.

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  • Charles Branklyn*

    Charles Branklyn*

    Hedley

    Charles Branklyn (Hedley) makes his MTC debut in Seven Guitars. He most recently appeared in Twelfth Night at the African-American Shakespeare Company and acted in the independent film The Tenderloin (Fakefoot Productions). Since appearing in August Wilson's Fences at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, he has performed in nine different productions of the playwright's ten-play Pittsburgh Cycle. Branklyn received a Drama-Logue Award for his role as Johnnie in River Niger and a San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle Award for Turnbo in Jitney, both at Lorraine Hansberry Theatre. He made his professional debut in Gospel of Colonus at A.C.T.

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  • L. Peter Callender*

    L. Peter Callender*

    Red Carter

    L. Peter Callender (Red Carter) has appeared at MTC in My Children! My Africa! He is currently the artistic director of African-American Shakespeare Company in San Francisco and an associate artist at Cal Shakes, where he has acted in over 20 productions. Other Bay Area credits include roles at A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, Brava! for Women in the Arts, Magic Theatre, Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Aurora Theatre Company, Diablo Actors Ensemble, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Shakespeare Santa Cruz, TheatreWorks and San Francisco Symphony. In New York, Mr. Callender appeared on Broadway in Prelude to a Kiss and in Julie Taymor's The Tempest at Classic Stage Company, as well as in roles at the Manhattan Theater Club, New York Shakespeare Festival and Circle Rep. Other regional theater credits include Arena Stage, The Rep in Milwaukee, Pittsburgh Public, Cincinnati Playhouse, Syracuse Stage and Pennsylvania Stage Company. He has appeared in the films Sweet November, Dr. Doolittle, The Kite Runner and voices in The Nightmare Before Christmas.

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  • Margo Hall*

    Margo Hall*

    Louise

    Margo Hall (Louise) makes her MTC debut in Seven Guitars. Her recent Bay Area credits include Nobody Move at Intersection for the Arts, Fabulation for Lorraine Hansberry Theatre [LHT], Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet at A.C.T. and Trouble in Mind at Aurora Theatre Company. Hall is a founding member of Campo Santo, a resident theater company at Intersection for the Arts, where she has acted in over 10 productions, including plays by Chinaka Hodges, Jessica Hagedorn, Naomi Iizuka, Philip Gotanda, Jose Rivera, Octavio Solis and Erin Cressida Wilson. She recently directed a co-production of The Story by Tracey Scott Wilson for SF Playhouse and LHT and Sonny's Blues by James Baldwin for Word for Word, which premiered at LHT before touring France. In 2005, her Will Glickman Award-winning play The People's Temple (co-authored by Leigh Fondakowski, Grey Pierrotti and Stephen Wangh) premiered at Berkeley Rep. She has also performed for Arena Stage, Olney Theater and Source Theater in Washington, D.C., the Guthrie Theater in Minneapolis, and locally at Berkeley Rep, Magic Theatre and Brava! for Women in the Arts.

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  • Omoze Idehenre*

    Omoze Idehenre*

    Vera

    Omoze Idehenre (Vera) makes her MTC debut in Seven Guitars. In the Bay Area, she has appeared in The Caucasian Chalk Circle, Scapin, Marcus; or The Secret of Sweet and Clybourne Park at A.C.T, Macbeth at Cal Shakes and Welcome Home, Jenny Sutter at TheaterFIRST. She has also appeared in the film On the Road, directed by Walter Salles. Idehenre graduated from A.C.T.'s MFA program in 2010 and is now a core company member.

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  • Marc Damon Johnson*

    Marc Damon Johnson*

    Canewell

    Marc Damon Johnson (Canewell) makes his MTC debut in Seven Guitars. His Bay Area credits include Mother Courage and Polk County at Berkeley Rep. His New York and international theater credits include The Brother/Sister Plays (Obie Award winner and Drama League nominee) and The Poor Itch at Public Theater, The Brothers Size at Abbey Theatre in Dublin, Ireland, Mr. Fox: A Rumination at Signature Theatre (Drama League nominee), A Civil War Christmas at Long Wharf, Measure For Measure and Two Gentlemen of Verona at New York Shakespeare Festival. He has also performed at La Jolla Playhouse, Arena Stage, McCarter Theater and the Acting Company. Mr. Johnson has appeared in numerous television shows and films, including Army Wives, Rescue Me, The Sopranos, Third Watch, Law & Order, Law & Order: Criminal Intent, Preaching to the Choir, It Runs in the Family, Grace & Glorie and Woody Allen's Sweet and Lowdown.

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  • Tobie L. Windham*

    Tobie L. Windham*

    Floyd

    Tobie Windham (Floyd Barton) makes his MTC debut in Seven Guitars. He most recently appeared in Lanford Wilson's Balm in Gilead in New York. Other credits include The Lily's Revenge, A Midsummer Night's Dream, The Brothers Size (San Francisco Bay Area Critics Circle nominee for best actor), Marcus; or the Secret of Sweet, The Pastures of Heaven and Two Real Coons. He has performed at A.C.T., South Coast Repertory, Magic Theatre, Cal Shakes, City Equity Theater, South City Theater Company and Birmingham Park Players. Windham earned his BA in theater from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and is a graduate of A.C.T.'s MFA program. He is a founding artistic member of Renovation Theater Company.

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Creative Team

  • August Wilson

    Playwright

    August Wilson (Playwright) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone (New York Drama Critics Circle Award), Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (NYDCC Award), The Piano Lesson (Pulitzer Prize and NYDCC Award), Seven Guitars (NYDCC Award), Fences (Pulitzer Prize, Tony and NYDCC Awards), Two Trains Running (NYDCC Award), Jitney (Olivier and NYDCC Awards), King Hedley II and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade by decade, over the course of the 20th century. His plays have been produced at regional theaters across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. He received an Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. His early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, Heinz Award and the National Humanities Medal. Following his death in October 2005, the Broadway theater located at 245 West 52nd Street was renamed the August Wilson Theatre.

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  • Kent Gash

    Director

    Kent Gash (Director) is the director of the New Studio on Broadway at the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU, where he has directed Assassins and The Who's Tommy. He is co-author and director of Langston in Harlem, which won the 2010 Audelco Award for best musical. Gash is the former associate artistic director of the Alliance Theatre, where he directed and choreographed 26 Miles (world premiere), Radio Golf, Sophisticated Ladies (Suzi Bass Award for best choreography) Sleuth, Elliot, A Soldier's Fugue, Jelly's Last Jam (Suzi Bass Awards for best musical, director and choreography) Tick, Tick… Boom, Five Guys Named Moe, Topdog/Underdog (co-production with Trinity Repertory Company and New Rep; Elliot Norton Award for best director) King Hedley II, Shakespeare's R&J and Pacific Overtures (co-production with Cincinnati Playhouse and North Shore Music Theatre; Atlanta Journal Constitution's "Best Show of the Year," Elliot Norton Award for best musical and Independent Reviewers of New England Awards for best musical and best director of a musical). Regionally, Gash has directed over fifty productions with Actors Express and True Colors in Atlanta, Cleveland Playhouse, Denver Center Theatre Company, the McCarter IN-Festival, Intiman Theatre in Seattle, Arizona Theatre Company, San Jose Repertory Theatre, Hartford Stage, Maltz-Jupiter Theatre and Shakespeare Santa Cruz. Gash also served as associate artistic director of Alabama Shakespeare Festival. His other New York credits include Miss Ever's Boys (NYC premiere) at Melting Pot Theatre Company, Call the Children Home at Primary Stages (world premiere), Beggar's Holiday and the first off-Broadway revival of Home. Gash spent 20 years as an accomplished actor, including time as a company member at A.C.T., where he won the Claire Luce Award for Miss Ever's Boys and Dinner at Eight and directed first year MFA students.

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  • J.B. Wilson+

    Scenic Designer

    J.B. Wilson (Scenic Designer) has designed sets for MTC's productions of Edward Albee's Tiny Alice, Equivocation, Sunlight, The Seafarer, said Saïd, Displaced, Fugitive Kind, The Hairy Ape, Company, One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest, All In The Timing, Wilder! Wilder! Wilder!, Lips Together, Teeth Apart and Inspecting Carol. Wilson's extensive Bay Area design credits include sets for A.C.T., Theatreworks, Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, American Musical Theatre of San Jose, Cal Shakes, San Francisco Shakespeare Festival, Artists Confronting AIDS, San Francisco Opera Center, Opera San Jose and many others. Nationally, his designs have appeared on stages in New York City, Chicago, Washington D.C., Los Angeles, Houston, Princeton, Newark, Buffalo, Malibu, Atlanta and elsewhere. He is the recipient of numerous Bay Area Critics Circle and Hollywood Drama-Logue Awards, a Back Stage West Garland Award, Theatre L.A. Ovation Award and the Barbara Bladen Porter Award for Continued Creative Excellence. Wilson is a professor at San Francisco State University.

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  • Kurt Landisman+

    Lighting Designer

    Kurt Landisman (Lighting Designer) has designed lighting for over 40 of MTC's productions, including Edward Albee's Tiny Alice, Happy Now?, Equivocation, The Seafarer and Lydia. His lighting designs have been seen at most Bay Area theaters including A.C.T., Berkeley Rep, San Jose Rep, Aurora Theatre Company, Center REP, San Francisco Opera, Cal Shakes, Magic Theatre and TheatreWorks. He has received numerous Bay Area Theatre Critics Circle and Drama-Logue awards. Nationally, Landisman's designs have been seen at Arizona Theatre Company, Laguna Playhouse, Los Angeles Opera, Minnesota Opera, Sacramento Opera, Virginia Opera, Tulsa Opera, Ballet Arizona, Guthrie Theatre and Cincinnati Playhouse, as well as Off-Broadway at Circle Rep and Douglas Fairbanks Theatre. His association with playwright Sam Shepard included the world premieres of True West and Fool for Love. Internationally, his designs have been seen in Tokyo, Singapore and Shanghai.

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  • Callie Floor+

    Costume Designer

    Callie Floor (Costume Designer) has designed costumes for MTC's productions of Fuddy Meers, 9 Circles, Sunlight, boom, My Name is Asher Lev, Magic Forest Farm, Lydia, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Jacques Brel and The Subject Tonight is Love. She has designed for many Bay Area theaters including A.C.T., Magic Theatre, San Francisco Mime Troupe, Zaccho Dance Theater and West Bay Opera. She is currently working on A Delicate Balance for Aurora Theatre Company and How to write a New Book for the Bible for Berkeley Rep. Floor is the resident designer for the California Revels and currently holds the position of Costume Rentals Supervisor for A.C.T. She has a BFA from the University of Utah and a Higher Diploma in Theatre Design from the Slade School of Fine Art, University College London.

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  • Chris Houston

    Sound Designer

    Chris Houston (Sound Designer) is a pianist, composer and sound designer. He has designed sound for MTC's productions of Edward Albee's Tiny Alice, Fuddy Meers, Seagull, Happy Now?, In the Red and Brown Water, Equivocation, Sunlight, boom, My Name is Asher Lev, Magic Forest Farm, Lydia, The Seafarer, Frankie and Johnny in the Clair de Lune, Love Person, A Streetcar Named Desire, said Saïd and Lovers & Executioners. Locally, his designs and compositions have been featured at A.C.T., Aurora Theatre Company, SF Playhouse, Center REP, Magic Theatre and the San Francisco Shakespeare Festival.

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  • Linda Tillery

    Music Director

    Linda Tillery (Music Director) makes her MTC debut in Seven Guitars. She is a veteran vocalist, percussionist, Grammy-nominated producer and cultural historian whose career has spanned 43 years. She became a central figure in the emerging genre of women's music in the 1970s and 80s as staff producer, vocalist and drummer for Olivia Records. In the 1990s, Tillery studied vocal improvisation with Bobby McFerrin and later became a founding member of McFerrin's vocal ensemble, Vociestra. In 1992 she formed the Cultural Heritage Choir to perform and preserve African-American roots music. Their repertoire includes work songs, spirituals, field hollers, children's play songs, moans and ring shouts. Tillery has performed as the lead singer of the Loading Zone, the Coke Escovedo band, the house band at Slim's nightclub in San Francisco, and as a member of the Zasu Pitts Memorial Orchestra. She has recorded four solo albums and appeared on over 90 recordings by such artists as Santana, Boz Scaggs, Holly Near, Huey Lewis and The News, Vicki Randle, Pete Escovedo, The Whispers, John Santos, Maria Muldaur, Taj Mahal and Eric Bibb. Tillery has taught classes and residencies at Stanford University, Williams College, University of Utah, Pacific School of Religion, University of Maryland and Spelman College in Atlanta, California Institute of Integral Studies and the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute. Her second solo recording Linda Tillery won a Bammy (Bay Area Music Award) for Best Independently Produced Album and was twice named Outstanding Female Vocalist at the Bay Area Jazz Awards.

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  • Jonathan Templeton*

    Stage Manager

    Jonathan Templeton (Stage Manager) makes his MTC debut with Seven Guitars. He has worked in Chicago on Good Boys and True, Art and four seasons of First Look Reparatory of New Work at Steppenwolf Theatre Company; Trust, Fedra, Argonautika, The Brothers Karamazov, Great Men of Science, The Shaggs, 1984, The Old Curiosity Shop, Black Diamond and Around the World in 80 Days at Lookingglass Theatre Company, where he is a production affiliate; Loving Repeating, Execution of Justice and Wedding Play at About Face Theatre; and Orpheus Descending at American Theatre Company. He also spent two summers with Weston Playhouse in Vermont. Templeton is a graduate of Northwestern University.

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* Denotes member of Actors Equity Association
+ Member, United Scenic Artists
^ Member, Society of Stage Directors and Choreographers

Reviews

  • "Dynamic and compelling... The lyrical cadences of Wilson's blues-driven words soar and thrill as delivered by, yes, seven pitch-perfect actors."

    — San Francisco Chronicle Read full review
  • "Beautifully executed... all that time we spend with the gang pays off; when the end comes, it packs a wallop. Gash and the superb cast handle the play deftly... it plays out magnificently."

    — Marin Independant Journal Read full review
  • "Insightful... It's a brilliant ensemble, but Wilson's 'Guitars' demands nothing less. He wrote the blues like a 20th century Shakespeare, and Marin's cast makes every word sing."

    — San Francisco Examiner Read full review
  • "A good production of a good play is a pleasing event, and it shows up several times a year on Bay Area stages. A terrific production of a terrific play is another matter; it's much rarer, so I'm happy to report that Marin Theatre has achieved it, in its warm, vibrant take on August Wilson's Seven Guitars."

    — Piedmont Post
  • "Beautiful production… you leave the theater fully convinced that words and music can combine in powerfully emotional ways both in and out of songs, in the cadence of poetry and in the rhythm of everyday language... [Director Kent] Gash's ensemble is fantastic: Margo Hall, L. Peter Callender, Marc Damon Johnson, Omoze Idehenre, Charles Branklyn, Tobie Windham and Shinelle Azoroh. Each actor has at least one moment of transcendence, and that fact alone makes this show worth seeing."

    — Theater Dogs Blog Read full review
  • "Late playwright August Wilson's reputed knack for capturing time, place, and character crystallizes unforgettably in the Marin Theatre Company's production of Seven Guitars... Visually stunning and psychically rich, this quirkily enchanting production succeeds in bringing Wilson's vision of the black American experience to life."

    — Stage and Cinema Blog Read full review
  • "Dynamite... The strength of Seven Guitars is in the superb pitch-perfect acting of the ensemble with each having their turn in the spotlight... Marin Theatre Company has again come up with a winner in the total production."

    — For All Events Blog
  • "The show is vibrant, colorful... [with] uniformly powerful cast, staging and design."

    — Mill Valley Patch/Bay Area News Service

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