Play chronicles lives of former slaves in early 20th century Pittsburgh

"GREENSBORO - UNCG’S Brown Theatre stage will be transformed into a 1911 Pittsburgh boarding house April 22-26, as UNCG’s Theatre Department stages “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone."

The play tells the stories of the inhabitants of a boarding house in 1911 Pittsburgh. It portrays the lives of a few former slaves who have traveled to the north, where they face discrimination as they seek to redefine themselves. It will be guest directed by Tamera Izlar.

"This interesting work examines the consequences associated with systematic victimization, hatred, and discrimination,” said Izlar, artistic associate at Triad Stage. “More importantly, it also seeks to liberate, restore community, celebrate one’s ancestral lineage, and encourage others to discover their unique songs."

It was written by August Wilson (1945-2005), a celebrated African-American writer whose plays chronicle African-Americans’ lives during the 20th century. He twice won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, in 1987 and 1990, for his poetic writing. “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” is the second in his Century Cycle series of plays.

Wilson was the fourth of six children and grew up in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District. His mother, Daisy Wilson, walked from North Carolina to Pennsylvania seeking a better life.

"Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” premiered in 1984 at the Eugene O’Neill Theater Center in Waterford, Conn. It opened on Broadway in 1988, and was awarded the 1988 New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award for Best Play. It was also nominated for the 1988 Drama Desk Award for Best Play and the 1988 Tony Award for Best Play.

There will be performances at 7:30 p.m. April 22-23, 8 p.m. April 24-25, and 2 p.m. on April 26. Tickets are $16 for adults, $11 for children and seniors, and are available through the Triad Stage box office downtown, by phone at 336-272-0160, or through the Brown Box Office on campus from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday-Friday. Tickets can also be bought online at

About UNCG
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro, located in the Piedmont Triad region of North Carolina, is a high-research activity university as classified by the Carnegie Foundation. Founded in 1891 and one of the original three UNC system institutions, UNCG is the most diverse university in the state with 18,000 students and 3,000 faculty and staff members representing more than 90 nationalities. With 82 undergraduate, 63 master’s and 28 doctoral programs, UNCG is consistently recognized nationally among the top universities for academic excellence and value, with noted strengths in education, health and wellness, the performing arts, business and the arts and sciences, among others. For additional information, please visit"

- A Press Release

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