August Wilson's Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

By August Wilson

Directed by Gavin Dillon Lawrence

August Wilson returns to the Hill for a second play in The American Century Cycle. It’s Chicago in the roaring 20s, and blues legend Ma Rainey is at the apex of the industry, her gritty style and bawdy blues disrupting the broadly popular music of the day; her music a gift and catharsis to generations of enslaved and newly freed Black Americans. As Ma and her entourage are delayed on the way to cut her new album, her band – trumpeter Levee, bassist Slow Drag, pianist Toledo and trombonist Cutler - gets to talking about their pasts and futures. Levee is an ambitious and talented young man, with a fraught history and a progressive new sound that may not mesh with Ma’s version of the Blues. As the band bides time, Levee’s frustration grows, leading to conflicts with Ma and unsteady deals with the white producers that may threaten everything.

Featuring Greta Oglesby as Ma Rainey. Also featuring Nathan Barlow and Chiké Johnson.

Produced by American Players Theatre at APT's Up-the-Hill Amphitheater, American Players Theatre, 5950 Golf Course Road, Spring Green

Performances: June 21 - September 7, 2024

For more information, please visit the APT website at

Call 608-588-2361 for reservations or more information.

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