New African Grove Theatre Company
Joe Turner's Come and Gone
Set in 1911, this was New African Grove Theatre Company's fifth production of an August Wilson play. It opened August 23rd, 2013. It was directed by Mia Kristin Smith.
It is August of 1911, a generation after Abraham Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation granted legal freedom to all enslaved Africans in America. Still subject to Jim Crow discrimination in the rural South, black Americans have begun migrating to the industrial cities of the north, seeking work and the opportunity to establish a life with dignity for themselves.
When Harold Loomis arrives at a black Pittsburgh boardinghouse after seven years’ impressed labor on Joe Turner’s chain gang, he is a free man—in body. But the scars of his enslavement and a sense of inescapable alienation oppress his spirit still, and the seemingly hospitable rooming house seethes with tension and distrust in the presence of this tormented stranger.
Loomis is looking for the wife he left behind, believing that she can help him reclaim his old identity. But through his encounters with the other residents he begins to realize that what he really seeks is his rightful place in a new world—and it will take more than the skill of the local “People Finder” to discover it.