August Wilson's Gem of the Ocean: A Brief Study Guide.

 

The first of ten in August Wilson's Cycle Play* (chronologically), Wilson tells a story of Ester (or Aunt Ester as she is called by her loved ones), and Citizen Barlow.

 

Barlow arrives at Aunt Ester's house after he finds himself in a state of spiritual turmoil, hoping that she can help to ease his pain.  Along the way, we also meet the family that dwells in her house as well as guests (both wanted and not).

 

The 2003 Broadway Production included a dynamic cast, including Phylisha Rashad as Ester and LisaGay Hamilton as Black Mary.  Kenny Leon also directed this version, and starred as Citizen Barlow in a earlier workshop production.

 

*To learn more about August Wilson and his Cycle Play Series, click here.

 

"Gem' has passages of transporting beauty. Mr. Wilson is at the top of his form." - New York Times

 

"Slow-burning, powerfully spiritual drama." - Variety

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