By Special to the AFRO
It’s never the wrong time to do the right thing.
This October, Everyman Theatre’s next show is Radio Golf, the final play in renowned playwright August Wilson’s 10-play opus, ‘The American Century Cycle.’ Radio Golf brings the “crackle of a comedy with old-fashioned melodrama,” according to The New York Times, and highlights the challenges faced by modern-day African-Americans straddling the line between monetary success and cultural assimilation.
The play opened Oct. 15 and runs through Nov. 17 at Everyman Theatre, located in the up-and-coming Market Center District of Downtown Baltimore. This is the fourth August Wilson production from Everyman, after Fences (2002 and 2015) and Gem of the Ocean (2008). The Harlem Classical Theatre’s Associate Artistic Director Carl Cofield makes his Everyman directorial debut with this play.
Radio Golf tells the story of Harmond Wilks, played by Jamil Mangan, a young African-American real estate developer running for Mayor of Pittsburgh in 1997. He opens a campaign office in the heart of Pittsburgh’s Hill District, his childhood neighborhood that’s fallen into disrepair.
Together with his business partner Roosevelt, played by Jason B. McIntosh, and wife Mame, a Resident Company Member Dawn Ursula, Harmond’s grand plan to develop a neglected block in order to erect a high-rise apartment complex—complete with a Whole Foods and Starbucks—is challenged by two members of the Hill community, Sterling, played by Anton Floyd, and Elder Joseph Barlow, played by Charles Dumas. Harmond must face his uncovered past and weigh the impact and true costs of his personal progress if he chooses to ignore his heritage and legacy.
“Although Radio Golf is set in 1997, August Wilson saw into the future and started this conversation around life in America for upper-class Black folk,” Director Carl Cofield said. “How important is success if you’re denying and destroying your family’s history and culture in order to get it? It’s a modern examination of what the American Dream means today, and has huge resonance in Baltimore and other urban centers.”
Because the themes of neighborhood revitalization and cultural crossover directly affect both the Market Center, Bomo area, and Baltimore at large, Everyman is hosting multiple events that will engage community partners and begin to breach these topics in order to start a dialogue between neighbors and engaged Baltimore supporters. These include a neighborhood cleanup day and community panel discussions.
“We specifically chose to bring Radio Golf to Baltimore because of the mirror it holds up to our neighborhood and how it reflects some of the greatest challenges that Baltimore faces today,” says Everyman Founding Artistic Director Vincent M. Lancisi. “August Wilson is one of the most revered playwrights of our age. His legacy of chronicling the American century decade by decade has left us with a treasure trove of great stories. Radio Golf is one that is immediate, relevant, and funny all at the same time.”
Radio Golf runs from Oct. 15 – Nov. 17 and you can purchase your tickets online at everymantheatre.org, by phone at (410) 752 -2208, or at the Everyman Theatre Box Office at 315 W. Fayette St., Baltimore, Md.