CARDINAL PLAY DATES
Play Dates is a monthly script-reading club. It’s just like a book club, but for theater! Each month we’ll read a different play or musical and then meet to discuss the piece. We’ll read a little bit of the show out loud, talk about themes and characters, and occasionally do Q&A with playwrights or other theater experts. If you love theater and want to expand your knowledge or meet fellow theater fans, this is the group for you!
Anyone can join Play Dates for free, but members will need to purchase scripts each month (or borrow them from the library). We want to ensure that playwrights are getting paid for their work. We will provide links to outlets where each month’s script will be available for purchase or loan, as well as additional resources like cast albums or video recordings.
Play Dates will meet on the final Wednesday of each month at 7pm over Zoom, until we are able to meet in person. Find more info about this month’s play below!
August Play: Two Trains Running
August Meeting Date: Wednesday, August 26 at 7:00 pm via Zoom
In this play, history unfolds around everyday lives against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Long-time regulars gather at the local diner in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to gossip, flirt and play the numbers. The owner must decide whether to let the city take over his building or sell it to a shrewd, local businessman. The seventh in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, “Two Trains Running” paints a compassionate & unforgettable portrait of ordinary people in the midst of transformation.
This play is readily available online and can be purchased for a Kindle via Amazon.
Meet the Playwright: August Wilson
August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) was an American playwright whose work included a series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each work in the series is set in a different decade, and depicts comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century.
In 1959 Wilson was the only African-American student at the Central Catholic High School. He then attended Connelley Vocational High School. He dropped out of Gladstone High School in the 10th grade in 1960 after his teacher accused him of plagiarizing. Wilson hid his decision from his mother because he did not want to disappoint her.
In 1968, he co-founded the Black Horizon Theater in the Hill District of Pittsburgh along with his friend Rob Penny. Wilson’s first play, Recycling, was performed for audiences in small theaters, schools and public housing community centers for 50 cents a ticket.
Wilson’s best known plays are Fences (1985) (which won a Pulitzer Prize and a Tony Award), The Piano Lesson (1990) (a Pulitzer Prize and the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award), Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and Joe Turner’s Come and Gone.
You can lean more about August Wilson here.
Previous Play Dates:
May 2020: Sunday in the Park with George by Stephen Sondheim
June 2020: The Taming by Lauren Gunderson
July 2020: The Most Spectacularly Lamentable Trial of Miz Martha Washington by James Ijames