Four Questions with Karen Christina Jones
Capital Region theater is blessed with many opportunities to see and get involved with all kinds of theater, but it hasn’t come close to seeing the full August Wilson 10 play cycle of plays about the Black American experience in the 20th Century set mostly in Pittsburgh. This Fall brings two productions. Jean-Remy Monnay is directing “The Piano Lesson” for UAlbany 11/16-11/20 and Karen Christina Jones is directing “Seven Guitars” for her Callaloo Theater.
Why “Seven Guitars” at this time? How is this play speaking to you in rehearsals?
I had to see the original production with Keith David and Viola Davis as college student. My acting class were guests of Mr. Wilson’s. He was a guest speaker at York College and watched us perform scenes from plays. I did Rose from Fences and he said, “I liked your interpretation.” Wow! Still gives me chills. Seven Guitars to me speaks about the tragedy of having a dream deferred and what it does to your soul.
Is there an August Wilson character that you hold closest to your heart? Yes, Rose Maxson, which I hope to visit again soon.
What’s the play that changed your life?
My production of “A Raisin in the Sun.” It is the play that proved that I was a director. The amazing cast, creative, and I brought the laughter, tears, and triumphs of an American Family. People still talk about it to this day.
What should the audiences know about this performance and space if they want to attend?
It’s outside, so bring a chair! It’s outside, so bring a blanket! It’s at the Underground Railroad Education Center so you will be viewing a sacred play on sacred ground.
“Seven Guitars” by August Wilson
Directed by Karen Christina Jones
Underground Railroad Education Center
194 Livingston Ave
10/15 & 10/16 at 2pm, $25. at the door or on Eventbrite.