August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

by  August Wilson

Full Length Play, Drama  /  8m, 2f

Winner! New York Drama Critics Circle Award

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August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

by  August Wilson

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August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    8m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

It's 1927 in a rundown studio in Chicago where Ma Rainey is recording new sides of old favorites. More goes down in the session than music in this riveting portrayal of rage, racism, the self hate and exploitation.
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Accolades

  • Winner! New York Drama Critics Circle Award 

    August Wilson is the recipient of the 1986 Whiting Award for Drama

Reviews

REVIEWS

"Searing ... funny, salty, carnal and lyrical.... Wilson has lighted a dramatic fuse that snakes and hisses through several anguished eras of American life. When the fuse reaches its explosive final destination, the audience is impaled by the impact." - The New York Times

"Powerfully relevant! Ma Rainey challenges and nourishes, shocks and heals." - Los Angeles Times, Read More

"Brilliant ... explosive! Dramatically riveting." - Newhouse Newspapers

Videos

  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom National Theatre Trailer
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Milwaukee Rep scene
  • Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Arizona Theatre Company scene
  • "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom," Live in The Greene Space
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Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance
  • Optional Music/Media Fee: $25 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1920s
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: A recording studio in Chicago, 1927.
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

8m, 2f
STURDYVANT
IRVIN
CUTLER
TOLDEO
SLOW DRAG
LEVEE
MA RAINEY
POLICEMAN
DUSSIE MAE
SYLVESTER
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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Woman (Star Vehicle)

Casting Notes

Casting includes 5 black and 3 white males, 2 black females

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Authors

August Wilson

August Wilson (April 27, 1945-October 2, 2005) authored 

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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom was first presented at the Yale Repertory Theatre on April 6, 1984. It was directed by Lloyd Richards.

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