August Wilson, American Bard – The New York Times

Chief among them is, perhaps, a 65-year-old actor Denzel WashingtonOne of the leading advocates of the new “Ma Rainey” film producer and playwright. In 2010, Washington won a Tony Award for his portrayal of the protagonist, in the 1950s Broadway revival of Wilson’s most acclaimed work, a sanitation worker named Troy Maxson. “The fence”(1985). In 2014, the Wilson estate led by the playwright’s widow, Constanza Romero, now 62, approached the actor about adopting the entire Pittsburgh bicycle for the film, which began with 2016 movie version “Fences”, directed, produced and starred by Washington opposite Davis, which won an Oscar for her role as Maxson’s wife.

Washington sees its responsibility as both the Hollywood Connector and Wilson Custodian. He convinced 66-year-old Wolfe, the famous theater director, for the new film; And then hired his friend with Romero Samuel L. Jackson And his son, John david washingtonBased on the Pulitzer Prize winner to appear in the next Wilson film, “The piano lesson“(1987), a saga about ghosts and the legacy of a family in the 1930s that will be looked after Barry jenkins. For the rest of the cycle, which will be taken out of order in the following years, such as director and actor Ryan cougler, Ava Duvernay And Laurence Fishburne “All are circling”, says Washington. This fall, he compared the venture to a relay race, passing on the baton in hopes of winning new audiences for the classics, which Wilson left behind. “God knows he couldn’t take them with him,” Washington says. “And thank God he left them. Now he has left them in my hands, and I have given them into the hands of other people.”

DAVIS, 55, Still recalled an early encounter with Ma Rainey’s character: she was a theater student at Rhode Island College in the 1980s, when she saw the stage and television actress one night Barbara meek In a local production. Davis recalls, “The thing that knocked me out was without ripping, screaming, screaming, just setting the price in any way.” ‘”” I’ve never seen that level of agency and autonomy. “

Ma is also a standout role in the context of Wilson’s works, populated with confident black characters who either seek or declare their power within a system that will deny them: those at work Those who try to get promoted try to open record shops. Restaurants, who insult themselves before white peers to move forward, fight back against those same white peers or even take steps to push other black people forward. Still, Ma stands for another reason, too: Wilson’s plays are often ruled by men, whether they are scraping for cash or hanging in stores. And Ma is not just a black woman at the center of her story, but a villain, who is absent in Wilson. Rarely do gay Black women receive the spotlight, and certainly not in the mid-1980s, when the play arrived in New York. Nor in the 1920s, when the real Ma – and her protagonist, the blues singer Basie Smith – Queer Black was a part of the female cast. (Ma’s lyrics often refer to her attraction to women, such as “Prove it sad me” [1928]: “I went out last night with a crowd of my friends. / It must be of women, because ‘I don’t like any man.’)) In the theatrical version, Ma has a woman, who lives with her husband Dossie Mae, with whom she flirts and who has She is a woman, though she never speaks of sexuality: a notable omission for a character rooted in the black community where the queue has historically been, and often still marginalized and tarnished.

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