• It’s Back—Chardonnay Matinee!

    by 
    Beth Fhaner
     | Oct 16, 2017

    Sugar Plum Fairy

    What better way to get into the holiday spirit than by watching Sandra Tsing Loh recount her angst-ridden childhood desire for a role in The Nutcracker in Sugar Plum Fairy? Join fellow theatregoers for some holiday cheer at a “Chardonnay Matinee,” “Tipsy Tuesday” or “Thirsty Thursday” performance, and you’re guaranteed to experience a fun-filled theatre outing!

    It’s Easy to Enjoy This Special Offer

    The $40 cost includes your ticket and a glass of wine, champagne, Sugar Plum Fairy signature drinks or soft drink served in a SCR souvenir cup.* The Lobby Bar opens one hour before the performance and you can enjoy your drink in the lobby or take it into the show! The offer is valid for the following performances:

    Chardonnay Matinees

    • Sunday, Dec. 3, at 2 p.m.
    • Saturday, Dec. 9, at 2 p.m.
    • Sunday, Dec. 10, at 2 p.m.

    Tipsy Tuesday

    • Tuesday, Dec. 5, at 7:45 p.m.

    Thirsty Thursday

    • Thursday, Dec. 7, at 7:45 p.m.

    Select from the special Sugar Plum Fairy drinks inspired by the play:

    • Spritzer Tsing Loh – White wine and club soda, served over ice
    • Tu Tu Much – Vodka, cranberry juice and triple sec, served over ice

    Buy-Tickets


    *THE FINE PRINT: Offer cannot be exchanged into another date. Based upon availability. Offer applies to any seat, any section. Drink vouchers may be picked up at Will Call on day of performance. Special offer not applicable to previously purchased tickets and cannot be combined with other offers. Online ordering tip: Enter Promotional Code SCRVINO and click “apply” before purchasing. This offer expires Oct. 20, 2017, at 11:59 p.m.

  • Costa Mesa Bus Offers Free Rides to Art Centers, Popular Shopping and Dining Areas

    by 
    Danielle Bliss
     | Oct 13, 2017

    Planning a fun theatre outing in Costa Mesa? Why not incorporate shopping and dining into your excursion, too? The Costa Mesa bus route makes it easy to navigate the area quickly, so grab a bite to eat or power shop before attending your next show at South Coast Repertory!

    busstopsign

    About the Bus

    The 30-passenger complimentary “hop-on, hop-off” bus starts and ends on Bristol Street and Town Center Drive and makes 12 stops along the route. Riders travel along South Bristol Street with stops at the art centers, South Coast Repertory and the Segerstrom Center for the Arts, as well as shopping centers including South Coast Plaza, The LAB and The CAMP. The bus makes stops every 20 minutes between the hours of 11:20 a.m.-3p.m. and 5-7p.m., and will stop every 40 minutes from 3-5p.m. and 7-9:50 p.m.

    In addition to a stop at South Coast Repertory, the bus will pick-up and drop-off riders at:

    Segerstrom Center for the Arts: Broadway musicals, symphonies and year-round events can be experienced at this venue.
    South Coast Plaza: More than 250 designer retail stores, plus a large variety of restaurants are located in this popular shopping destination.
    The CAMP and The LAB: Health-conscious and fitness-related retailers, unique dining spots, plus a variety of events and weekly live music.
    The MET: Indoor/outdoor work environment and social space featuring offices, dining and more.
    The Enclave: Residential, upscale living in the South Coast Metro area of Costa Mesa.

    Nearby: 3400 Avenue of the Arts upscale residential living, next to the Segerstrom Center fro the Arts.

    Click here for detailed and complete information

    Restaurant Guide

    South Coast Plaza Restaurants

    SouthCoastPlaza
    Water Grill
    Hours:
    Monday–Thursday, 11am-11pm
    Friday, 11 a.m.-Midnight
    Saturday, 10 a.m.-Midnight
    Sunday, 10 a.m.-11 p.m.
    Menu: Seafood and healthy options. Serves brunch, lunch, dinner, desserts, drinks,
    wine and spirits
    Address: 3300 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    Phone: 949-208-7060
    Website: http://www.watergrill.com/wgscp/home.html

    Seasons 52
    Hours:
    Monday-Thursday, 11a.m.-10 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
    Sunday, 10 a.m.-10 p.m.
    Menu: Rotating menu of seasonal American dishes alongside international wines in an
    upscale setting
    Address:3333 Bristol Street #2802, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    Phone:714-437-5252
    Website: http://www.seasons52.com/home

    Maggiano’s Little Italy
    Hours:
    Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-10 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday, 11 a.m.-11 p.m.
    Menu: Semi-upscale Italian cuisine served family-style in a relaxed space.
    Address: 3333 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    Phone: 714-546-9550
    Website: http://locations.maggianos.com/california/costa-mesa/3333-bristol-st./
    For full dining information at South Coast Plaza
    http://www.southcoastplaza.com/dining/

    The LAB Restaurants

    TheLab
    Gypsy Den
    Hours:
    Monday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
    Friday, 9 a.m.-1 a.m.
    Saturday, 8 a.m.-11:30 p.m.
    Sunday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.
    Menu: Healthy vegetarian and vegan options mixed with an eclectic and bohemian
    atmosphere heavily influenced by music culture. Part-coffee house, part-full service
    restaurant/café, part live venue.
    Address: 2930 Bristol Street B102, Costa Mesa CA 92626
    Phone: 714-549-7012
    Website: https://www.gypsyden.com/

    Habana
    Hours:
    Sunday-Thursday, 11 a.m.-1 a.m.
    Friday-Saturday, 11:30 a.m.-2 a.m.
    Menu: Cuban dishes, cocktails and more in a shabby-chic, candlelit space and garden
    patio.
    Address: 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA. 92626
    Phone: 714-556-0176
    Website: http://www.habanacostamesa.com/

    Seabirds Kitchen
    Hours:
    Monday-Friday, 11 a.m.-9 p.m.
    Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-9 p.m.
    Menu:Organic, plant-based and seasonal menu.
    Address: 2930 Bristol Street, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    Phone: 714-549-2584
    Website: http://www.seabirdskitchen.com/
    For full dining information at The LAB: http://www.thelab.com/store-list/

    The CAMP Restaurants

    TheCamp
    Old Vine Café
    Hours:
    Sunday-Monday, 9 a.m.-3 p.m.
    Tuesday-Thursday, 9 a.m.-10 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday 9, a.m.-11 p.m.
    Menu: Cozy spot with an eclectic menu known for its fixed-price wine-pairing dinners,
    also serves breakfast.
    Address: 2937 Bristol Street, Suite A102, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    Phone: 714-545-1411
    Website: http://www.oldvinecafe.com/</class="subtitle">

    Native Foods
    Hours:
    Monday-Sunday, 11a.m.-10 p.m.
    Menu: Chain for creative, Californian-style vegan fare, including mock-meat dishes,
    ordered at a counter.
    Address: 2937 Bristol Street, E100, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    Phone: 714-751-2151
    Website: https://www.nativefoods.com/

    Ecco Pizza
    Hours:
    Sunday-Thursday, 11a.m.-10 p.m.
    Friday-Saturday, 11a.m.-12 a.m.
    Menu: Small room with brick décor offers pasta, pizza and other creative Italian
    entrees, plus wine-pairing.
    Address: 2937 Bristol Street, A103, Costa Mesa, CA 92626
    Phone: 714-444-3226
    Website: http://www.eccopizza.com/

  • Role Call: Meet the Cast of "Gem of the Ocean"

    by 
    Beth Fhaner
     | Oct 10, 2017

    Azoroh, ShinelleNAME:​ Shinelle Azoroh

    My role in Gem of the Ocean is: Black Mary.
    My previous SCR credits include: Gem of the Ocean is my first production with SCR.
    My other credits include: Seven Guitars (Marin Theatre Company), Marcus or the Secret of Sweet (The American Conservatory Theater), You and Betty and Coretta.
    How do you relate to the character you're playing in Gem of the Ocean?: It's said in the text that Black Mary is stubborn. Much like Black Mary, I have dogged determination. Although stubborn, she has emotional depth and strength. She cares for the people around her, she's an empath, and she's an independent woman.
    What ​was the defining moment when you decided to pursue acting as a career?: A series of events led to my decision to act. Since childhood, I had a passion for acting. In high school, my drama instructor ​pretty much dropped a production in my lap. From there, I cast, choreographed and directed my first production. Years later, I took theatre in college as an elective and a professor offered me a scholarship if I joined the university’s theater program.
    What play has had a lasting impression on you?: American Buffalo. ​In graduate school, I hosted a play in my very own home. A few of my peers and I thought it would be interesting to switch the race of the characters to two older black gentlemen and ​a younger white guy. After dissecting the play and manipulating the characters, we didn’t sleep for days because we were uncovering so much. The play became a mirror and a lens for all of us; we were able to see ourselves in it. The entire process added fuel to our creativity.
    Who are your literary and artistic heroes?: My literary heroes are Maya Angelou, Zadie Smith, Lynn Nottage, Suzan-Lori Parks and August Wilson. Artistic heroes are the artists I come in to contact with daily that find a way to make me think and unapologetically navigate this earth.

    Butler III, PrestonNAME: ​Preston Butler III

    My role in Gem of the Ocean is: Citizen Barlow.
    My previous SCR credits include: This is my SCR debut!
    My other credits include: Hecuba (Stella Adler Theater), Cotton Patch Gospel (American Coast Theater), Dead Awaken (Edinburgh Fringe).
    How do you relate to the character you're playing in Gem of the Ocean?: The journey of Citizen Barlow is one of purpose and discovery. August has him grapple with the complexity of being an American—What is freedom? What does it means to be a citizen? Oddly enough,​ it's a century later and I often find myself engaging similar questions. Citizen chooses to become a liberator for the people. Likewise, I believe I chose the same path when I decided to become an artist. These are defining times for America. Much like the characters in the play, we have an opportunity and responsibility to progress the ideas of citizenship and freedom for generations to come.
    What ​was the defining moment when you decided to pursue acting as a career?: I actually wanted to be a professional athlete back in high school, but I ended up trying out for a school play and fell in love with performing. However, I think I realized later how theatre and art in general is the most powerful means for change. After that revelation, I knew that acting is what I was put on the planet to do.
    What play has had a lasting impression on you?: A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry. This play truly illustrated for me the way in which art can so precisely capture the spirit of a character or a moment in history. Theatre is what then makes these people, moments and stories accessible to the world.
    Who are your literary and artistic heroes?: August Wilson is one of the greatest playwrights to ever live. I take great joy in the poems of Langston Hughes, writings of Martin Luther King Jr., and the plays and spoken word performances of Aleshea Harris. As a multidisciplinary artist, my artistic heroes range from Denzel Washington to Art Tatum, Antoine Fuqua to Lupe Fiasco, Gina Prince-Bythewood to Common, Idris Elba to Eric Whitacre...I could go on haha.

    Caldwell,-L.-ScottNAME: ​L. Scott Caldwell

    My role in Gem of the Ocean is: Aunt Ester.
    My other credits include: Home, my Broadway debut; The Dreams of Sarah Breedlove, Goodman Theater; Lee Blessing's Going to St. Ives; Neil Simon's Proposals; August Wilson's Joe Turner's Come and Gone. ​The Case for Christ, Concussion, The Perfect Guy, Gridiron Gang, The Fugitive, Waiting to Exhale, Mystery Alaska, Dragonfly, Devil in the Blue Dress, The Net​, ​Dutch and Lost.




    Derricks, CleavantNAME: ​​Cleavant Derricks

    My role in Gem of the Ocean is: Solly Two Kings.
    My other credits include: Hair; Vinette Carroll's Your Arms Too Short to Box with God; But Never Jam Today; Brooklyn the Musical. Moscow on the Hudson, The Slugger's Wife, Offbeat, Carnival of Souls, Bluffing It, Miami Magma, Basilisk; World Traveler. "Sliders," "Thea," Drexell's Class," "Good Sports" and "Whoops!"






    Landon Jr, HalNAME: ​​Hal Landon Jr. My role in Gem of the Ocean is: I play Rutherford Selig.
    My previous SCR credits include: I’ve been in more than 100 SCR productions.
    My other credits include: The Globe in San Diego, the Mark Taper Forum, and Shakespeare Orange County as well as quite a bit of film and television.
    How do you relate to the character you're playing in Gem of the Ocean?: If you mean what do we have in common, I don’t think very much. He is a peddler, the 1904 version of a traveling salesman and he is pretty good at it. I would be terrible in this job. But I prefer playing characters who are different from myself. That is what is fun about acting, creating a believable and interesting character from scratch.
    What ​was the defining moment when you decided to pursue acting as a career?: I decided to become an actor after I was cut from the freshman basketball team at the University of Arizona. I was looking for something else to do, so I took an acting class. It turned out that, while I wasn’t a very good basketball player, I was a pretty good actor, so I stuck with it.
    What play has had a lasting impression on you?: I would have to say A Christmas Carol. I have played the part of Scrooge for 37 years, and much of what I have learned about acting has come from trying to get the part right.
    Who are your literary and artistic heroes?: There are so many. I’ll go old school on you for this: Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Sam Shepard, Harold Pinter, Samuel Beckett and Charles Dickens. As for actors: Meryl Streep and the SCR Founding Members.

    Orduña, MattNAME: ​​Matt Orduna My role in Gem of the Ocean is: Eli.
    My other credits include: Les Blances, Rogue Machine Theatre; Bars & Measures, The Theatre @ Boston Court; Fences, International City Theatre; Oedipus El Ray and Clybourne Park, San Diego Repertory Theatre; Macbeth, A Noise Within; Stick Fly, Mo'oelo Performing Arts Company. I Don't Feel at Home in This World Anymore, Grace of Jake, Baby Steps, Better Half: The Story of Tony & Leo, "NCIS: Los Angeles," "NCIS," "Ironside," "Pretty Little Liars," "The Fosters," "Switched at Birth," "Days of Our Lives," "Sons of Anarchy," "Mob City," "Family Tools" and "Legit."


    Powell, ArnellNAME: ​​​Arnell Powell My role in Gem of the Ocean is: Caesar Wilks.
    My previous SCR credits include: This is my debut.
    My other credits include: The Blacks (The Classical Thatre of Harlem); Othello (Veteran's Center for the Performing Arts); national tour of Bring in 'da Noise, Bring in 'da Funk; Hidden Figures; The Conjuring; "Greenleaf"; "The Mick"; "Bosch"; and "NCIS."
    How do you relate to the character you're playing in Gem of the Ocean?: I like the fact that Caesar feels taken for granted and is totally misunderstood. In his own way, he is trying to save his people from themselves. On a lighter note, since I am the dad of two bright and energetic preteen girls, I am constantly encountering behaviors that I find absolutely befuddling. I think Caesar feels the same way!
    What ​was the defining moment when you decided to pursue acting as a career?: As a result of my experience working on a scene from Athol Fugard's Master Harold and the Boys as a sophomore in high school, I decided to pursue acting as a career.
    What play has had a lasting impression on you?: August Wilson's Seven Guitars
    Who are your literary and artistic heroes?: Ralph Ellison, Octavia E. Butler, Michael Jackson and, of course, August Wilson.

    Learn more and purchase tickets.

  • Acting Instructor Greg Atkins on the Importance of Improv and Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

    by 
    Beth Fhaner
     | Oct 06, 2017
    Improv Class

    ​Greg Atkins works with students.

    Improv Class

    ​Greg Atkins, right.

    Improv Class

    ​Greg Atkins, left.

    Greg Atkins has been teaching improvisation classes at SCR's Theatre Conservatory for more than 30 years, and he strongly believes that improv skills are an essential part of an actor’s success. Not only does improv prepare an actor for myriad challenges including auditions and performances, but it is also beneficial in boosting confidence and overcoming shyness. Whether you’re going on a job interview, speaking in public, meeting new people or directing a business meeting, improvisation skills are an important part of everyday life.

    When he’s not teaching improv, ​Atkins is busy writing and directing for major entertainment companies like The Walt Disney Company, Busch Gardens, Universal Theme Parks and Blizzard Entertainment, among other corporations. Additionally, he was a creative consultant on the hit ABC primetime show "Whose Line Is It Anyway?" and co-wrote/directed the television pilot The Everyday Adventures of Hannah Handleman (Super Genius). A published author and playwright, Atkins' book, Improv!, is a must-read for any budding actor.

    We recently caught up with Atkins to discuss the benefits of taking an improv class and why he advises actors and students to “take a chance and get out of their comfort zones.”

    For those who may be new to acting or performing, what exactly is improv?

    Improv has become synonymous with "Whose Line is it Anyway?" and groups like Second City in Chicago and Groundlings in L.A. I teach my own style of improvisation, primarily geared for the actor and, by extension, anyone who has to stand in front of a group and interacts…whether on stage, at an audition, in front of a jury, at a corporate meeting or in a fight with your spouse. Improv is taking all the information already in your brain, quickly accessing it and speaking spontaneously with confidence and purpose.

    What are the benefits of taking an improv class?

    Students learn to think faster, access information quicker, make smarter choices, develop their storytelling skills and, in general, have fun.

    Would you recommend an improv class for someone who might be painfully shy?

    Actors are some of the shyest people I know. I have been lucky in my career to work with many well-known actors and they are not always extroverts. Many of these actors feel that they are able to “hide” behind their script and their characters. Many improv actors have the same feelings, the only difference is they are creating the characters and the stories on the spot. Just because there is no script, doesn't mean you are not playing a unique character…and this can be freeing.

    What’s the most rewarding aspect of teaching improv?

    It is never boring. My classes are fast-paced and fun. The ideas come out fast and furiously. We get to create interesting characters, situations and stories out of a simple word or idea. We laugh, we create, we get embarrassed, we succeed, we fail…it’s all part of the improv process. Also, some of my favorite people have come out of these classes.

    Tell us about your experience as a writer and/or director on productions and special events for companies such as The Walt Disney Company, Busch Gardens, Universal Theme Parks, Blizzard Entertainment and Princess Cruises, among others.

    I have found that improv strengthens all my work in entertainment. Whether writing, directing or acting, improv skills have always brought me success.

    I am currently working on an event called BlizzCon. If you are an online gamer, you know what that is. I am writing and directing the on-camera talent for live broadcasts. I also am the ​executive ​director of InterActors, a company of 90 improv actors ​who speak 35+ languages. We travel around the world to help train and test doctors in the medical industry. We have upcoming gigs in Orlando, Prague and Rome.

    Describe your work as a playwright and as the author of Improv!

    I have written a book, not surprisingly called, Improv! and have numerous plays and musicals published. I was just selected as a winner of the Panndora Productions 11th Annual New Works Festival for my new play, Cadaver Dogs. (Now that I think of it, Cadaver Dogs would be perfect for the Argyros Stage!) And my 10-minute play, The Exchange, just won the 8 Tens @ 8 Short Play Festival with the Actors’ Theatre of Santa Cruz. And my latest project has been writing the book and lyrics for BEDLAM - The Musical, along with my composer Joseph Alfuso.

    What final thought do you have about your improv class at SCR?

    Many actors and students tell me they put off taking an improv class because it scares them. Don’t let fear control what you want to do. Try the class...take the chance…get out of your comfort zone. Almost all my students tell me afterward that it was the best thing they ever did for their career and their confidence.

    Find our more about improv and other adult acting classes at SCR and enroll.

  • Living Memory in "Gem of the Ocean"

    by 
    Andy Knight
     | Oct 06, 2017

    Gem of the Ocean Logo

    “People say you crazy to remember. But I ain’t afraid to remember. I try to remember out loud. I keep my memories alive. I feed them. I got to feed them otherwise they’d eat me up.”

    —Aunt Ester, Gem of the Ocean


    August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean begins in the dead of night with a knock on the door at 1839 Wylie Avenue, a house in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. In 1904, it’s the home of Aunt Ester, a former slave, rumored to be 285 years old, who is well​-known within the city’s black community. When Eli, the house's gatekeeper, opens the door, he finds a young man named Citizen Barlow standing there. Citizen has done something terrible, and he’s come to see Aunt Ester; the word is that she can “wash people’s souls,” and his is in turmoil. But Eli tells Citizen he must wait until Tuesday, which is three days away, to see her.

    The next morning, Citizen is still there, standing across the street with the hope that Aunt Ester might come out. Eli and Black Mary—the housekeeper and Aunt Ester’s protégé—suspect that the young man has nowhere else to go. His farm boots suggest that he’s new to the city, likely a Southerner who’s come north in search of work in the city’s steel mills. The nearby mill, however, has shut down temporarily after a worker named Garret Brown drowned in the river while trying to avoid arrest. Brown was accused of stealing a bucket of nails, but maintained his innocence and chose to die to keep his honor intact and to avoid punishment at the hands of Caesar, the local constable and Black Mary’s older brother.

    That afternoon, while Eli and Black Mary are away, Citizen climbs into the house through an open window. Aunt Ester finds him in the kitchen and Citizen, desperate for her help, admits that he has killed a man. Only later, after Aunt Ester takes him in, does he reveal that the man was Garret Brown. Four weeks earlier, Citizen had come to Pittsburgh from Alabama to work at the mill. But he was taken advantage of by the bosses: they underpaid him and overcharged him for room and board. And so Citizen retaliated by stealing a bucket of nails—the same bucket of nails that cost Garret Brown his life.

    With the truth out in the open, Aunt Ester agrees to help Citizen find his redemption. For Citizen, that means a journey to the City of Bones, a mystical city in the Atlantic Ocean that was built from the bones of Africans who died aboard slave ships. It’s a treacherous voyage, but one that Citizen must take to live in truth and to find his worth.


    August Wilson

    Playwright August Wilson

    With its turn-of-the-century setting, Gem of the Ocean is the first play in August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, a 10-play series that reflects on the 20th century black American experience decade by decade. Although Gem comes first in the cycle chronologically, it was the penultimate play that Wilson wrote before his death in 2005. The story’s inspiration, however, can be found in two of Wilson’s earlier works—Two Trains Running (which is set in 1969 and premiered in 1990) and King Hedley II (set in 1985 and first produced in 1999). In both plays, Aunt Ester is discussed by characters as a sort of mystical healer. She never makes it to the stage herself in these two plays, but her presence is keenly felt. (It’s also worth mentioning that in Wilson’s final play, Radio Golf—which is set in 1997 and premiered in 2005—Aunt Ester’s name is, once again, invoked.)

    In Two Trains, Aunt Ester is said to be 349 years old; in King Hedley, she has recently passed away at 366; and in Gem of the Ocean, she claims to be 285. Her advanced years give her not only an otherworldly quality, but also a historical significance: it puts her birth around 1619, the same year that the first Africans were brought to North America as slaves. In Aunt Ester—a name that evokes the word “ancestor”—Wilson gives human form to the collective memory and tenacity of a people oppressed for centuries, and so it is no surprise that she is at the center of the play that begins the American Century Cycle.

    “Aunt Ester has emerged for me as the most significant persona of the cycle,” Wilson wrote in The New York Times in 2000. “The characters, after all, are her children. The wisdom and tradition she embodies are valuable tools for the reconstruction of their personality and for dealing with a society in which the contradictions, over the decades, have grown more fierce, and for exposing all the places it is lacking in virtue.”

    In Gem of the Ocean, only Aunt Ester can guide Citizen through the City of Bones. She is, after all, the ultimate link between past and present, the real world and the spirit world and Africa and America. Upon his return, Citizen is reborn as a new man full of consequence and purpose, and Aunt Ester is, appropriately, the mother of that rebirth.


    Gem of the Ocean Cast

    THE CAST: Hal Landon Jr, Shinelle Azoroh, Arnell Powell, L. Scott Caldwell, Preston Butler III, Cleavant Derricks and Matt Orduña with director Kent Gash

    Director Kent Gash makes his South Coast Repertory debut with Gem of the Ocean. Gash has a significant history with Wilson’s work and has directed five of the 10 plays in The American Century Cycle. In addition to his work as a freelance director, Gash is the founding director of the New York University's Tisch School of the Arts’ New Studio on Broadway and the former associate artistic director at both the Alliance Theatre in Atlanta and the Alabama Shakespeare Festival.

    Gash has assembled a first-rate cast, many of whom are new to SCR. L. Scott Caldwell makes her SCR production debut in the role of Aunt Ester. Caldwell is a veteran of both stage and screen, and perhaps best known to audiences for playing Rose on the hit TV show “Lost.” Like Gash, she has a long history with the work of August Wilson and won a Tony Award for her role as Bertha in the original Broadway production of Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Caldwell is joined by another Tony Award-winner Cleavant Derricks (Broadway’s Dreamgirls), who plays the role of former Underground Railroad conductor Solly Two Kings. The cast is rounded out by Shinelle Azoroh (Black Mary), Preston Butler III (Citizen), Matt Orduña (Eli) and Arnell Powell (Caesar)—all of whom make their SCR debuts in the production—as well as SCR founding artist Hal Landon Jr. (Rutherford Selig).

    Gem of the Ocean’s design team includes Edward E. Haynes (scenic design), Susan Tsu (costume design), Dawn Chiang (lighting design), Lindsay Jones (original music and sound design), Shawn Duan (projection design), Judith Moreland (dialect coach) and Ken Merckx (fight choreographer).  

    Learn more and buy ​tickets.