KC Melting Pot Theatre launches its 2019-2020 season with August Wilson’s King Hedley II. Wilson’s “exhilarating” (The New York Times) drama, is directed by KC Melting Pot founder Harvey Williams who also brought sold-out performances of Wilson’s Radio Golf to Kansas City audiences in 2018.
Set in the year of 1985 in Pittsburgh’s Hill District; King Hedley II explores the ways urban communities survive the trauma of violence, unemployment, and urban blight. King, recently released from a seven-year prison sentence must transition back to civilian life to make a way for himself in an economy that is moving a mile a minute. He quickly learns that society sees ex-convicts as invisible citizens who must find a way to make a living against impossible odds.
Desperate to start his own business, King resorts to a side hustle selling stolen refrigerators only to find himself frustrated and tired of his circumstances. As he tries to plant seeds to change his life we see the ways his mother Ruby, his wife, Tonya, his best friend, Mister, his next-door neighbor, Stool-Pigeon, and Ruby’s ex-lover, Elmore are affected by his choices.
The play features characters from Wilson’s earlier work, Seven Guitars (Ruby and Canewell, known here as Stool-Pigeon) and mentions other characters from the rest of the cycle such as Aunt Esther (Gem of the Ocean). King Hedley II is the son of Ruby and King Hedley I (known as simply Hedley in Seven Guitars), although the true identity of his biological father is unknown.
King Hedley II is a must-see play in the Wilson Pittsburgh Cycle (9th of 10 in the series) as it returns to many themes and delightful characters that Wilson fans will love and those new to Wilson’s work will enjoy. KCMPT will host post-show talk backs with the cast and director to discuss the impact of Wilson’s prolific work on the community.
Sherri Roulette Mosley – Ruby
Dennis Jackson – Stool Pigeon
Jerron O’Neal – Mister
Lewis Morrow – King
Lanette King – Tonya
Theodore (Priest) Hughes – Elmore
All productions held on the Keairnes stage at:
Just Off Broadway Theatre
3051 Central in Penn Valley Park
Kansas City MO. 64108
Friday, September 20 at 7:30 pm – Preview
Saturday, September 21 at 7:30 pm – Opening
Sunday, September 22 at 2:00 pm – Talk Back following performance
Thursday, September 26 at 7:30 pm – Talk Back following performance
Friday, September 27 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, September 28 at 2:00 pm
Saturday, September 28 at 7:30 pm
Thursday, October 3 at 7:30 pm – Talk Back following performance
Friday, October 4 at 7:30 pm
Saturday, October 5 at 7:30 pm – Closing
General admission $25
Seniors (60+)/Students – $20
Community Nights – $15 (Thursdays Only)
Group discounts and Press comps available
Tickets can be purchased at www.kcmeltingpot.com or calling 816-226-8087