New African Grove Theatre Company
King Hedley II
Set in 1985, this was New African Grove Theatre Company's ninth production of an August Wilson play. It opened July 21st, 2017. It was directed by Natasha Young.
Often thought of as the most tragic of Wilson’s plays, King Hedley II is the ninth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle. The play follows King, an ex-con who is desperately trying to make $10,000 to open a video store by stealing stolen refrigerators. We also meet his mother Ruby, his wife, Tonya, his best friend, Mister, his next door neighbor, Stool-Pigeon, and Ruby’s ex-lover, Elmore.
The play takes place in the 1980s, a time of excessive violence amongst and against African-Americans. Touching many of the same themes that Wilson brings up in his other plays, King Hedley II explores what happens when black men feel worthless and black women feel forgotten. King spends a lot of the play scraping at the dirt, trying to plant seeds where nothing can grow: this becomes the perfect metaphor for his life as well as the general African-American experience of the time.