Race An Issue In Wilson Play, And In Its Production

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T. Charles Erickson, The New York Times

In life, the playwright August Wilson had an all-but-official rule: No white directors for major productions of his work, which was one reason that a film was never made from his 10 plays about African-American life in the 20th century. “Fences,” one of the two awarded the Pulitzer Prize, foundered in Hollywood because of his insistence on a black director.

Yet in the years since Wilson died in 2005, an increasing number of white directors have staged his plays, and last week came a milestone: “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone,” which opened on April 16, is the first Broadway revival of a Wilson play since his death and the first ever on Broadway with a white director, the Tony Award-winning Bartlett Sher.

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