Cleveland Celebs in August Wilson play at Shore

Terrence Spivey, Shore Artistic Associate, will be directing Joe Turner

          The Theatre Program at Shore Cultural Centre will be continuing its presentation of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle with a readers theatre production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, the second play in Wilson’s highly acclaimed work, Monday, October 30 at 7:00pm on the stage of Shore Auditorium.  The first play of the cycle, Gem of the Ocean, was presented by Shore September 25.

            Wilson’s American Century Cycle is a series of ten plays illuminating the joys and struggles of the African-American experience in the United States during the 20th century—decade by decade.  Considered to be Wilson’s greatest contribution to American theatre, all but one of the plays is set in the Hill District of Pittsburgh.  The Cycle includes such well known plays as Fences (recently a movie starring Denzel Washington), The Piano Lesson and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

      Taking its title from the chorus of an early blues song, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone is set in 1911 in a boarding house, run by Seth and Bertha Holly, who head up the nontraditional, coming and going family of itinerant workers. The play is set against the backdrop of the Great Migration of the 1910’s; a period when a vast number of descendants of slaves headed north in search of a better life and better jobs in cities such as Chicago, Detroit, Cleveland and Pittsburgh. 

     Along with a cast of veteran Cleveland actors, Joe Turner will feature former television and radio personality Dee Perry; actor, playwright and former politician Peter Lawson Jones and former WZAK radio host Kim Johnson

     Terrence Spivey, Artistic Associate of the Theatre Program at Shore, will be directing Joe Turner.  Spivey has directed many Cleveland area productions of Wilson’s plays such as FencesJoe Turner’s Come and GoneRadio Golf, and the autobiographical How I Learned What I Learned at Shore Cultural Centre.  “It is our goal at Shore to present many of the plays in Wilson’s American Century Cycle.  A readers series presentation of his cycle has never been done in Northeast Ohio and only a few done in this country since Wilson's death. The backing and encouragement of the Wilson estate makes this an important theatrical event, particularly in Cleveland. ”

     General Admission tickets for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone are $12 and available on line at and at the Shore administrative office, Room 143.   Call 216-289-8578 for more information. 

Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and the American Century Cycle are presented with the permission of the Wilson Estate and by special arrangement with Samuel L. French, Inc.

Jim Spittle

Jim is the Programming and Marketing Manager for the Shore Cultural Centre.

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Volume 8, Issue 10, Posted 3:26 PM, 10.08.2017