The train has left the station…

Two Trains Running ran from January 29-February 17 at Syracuse Stage, and marked our seventh installment in the journey to producing all 10 plays in August Wilson’s 20th Century Cycle. The production received laudatory reviews from critics and deeply engaged the Greater Syracuse Community, with groups from all over Central New York braving snow storms in order to see the play. We are so appreciative to the cast, crew, and staff at Syracuse Stage for such a fun run, and we wish all of the artists the best in their future endeavors!

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What audiences said about “Two Trains Running”…

“This was a ‘nuanced’ play with many layers. Each person represented a different part of the African-American ‘experience’, and the interplay of societal forces could clearly be seen. Some of the lines were on the surface ‘funny’, but the play was very serious. August Wilson plays are stunning in their grasp of the human ‘character’ with both its flaws and redeeming features.”

“It helped me understand better the social issues I lived through as a teen.”

“So many rich themes and things to think about! Performers were excellent. I also enjoyed (and learned a lot) reading the entire program the next day. I think it’s amazing and wonderful that you’re doing all of August Wilson’s plays.”

“The performance level of the actors in this production was so uniformly excellent that it created one of the finest evenings of theater yet this year. The play is such an important “discussion” of the 1960’s and the Civil Rights movement. We were so fortunate to have the opportunity to see not only this show, but to see such fine actors!”

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The Syracuse Stage experience: Leland Gantt on Two Trains Running

“I say again and again, because it continues to be true: I think the best experience for an artist is to do good work on a good piece with good people. Throw in a good vibe and it’s a completely wonderful thing. For me, Two Trains has been just that. Tim Bond has again put together an amazing cast of actors – generous, talented, skillful. The rehearsal process is always relaxed and creative lending itself to a richly collaborative work product. The fact that the bone we are all chewing on is August Wilson is the element that has made this a completely satisfying journey. I commend Syracuse Stage for its dedication to completing the Cycle.”

leland coffee

Leland Gantt played Wolf in “Two Trains Running”

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State of the Stage

Syracuse in Focus recently did a video interview for their blog with Syracuse Stage Producing Artistic Director Timothy Bond about Two Trains Running and upcoming shows at the theatre! Check it out!

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Holloway

Holloway

Abdul Salaam El Razzac plays Holloway in Syracuse Stage’s production of August Wilson’s TWO TRAINS RUNNING. Photo by Michael Davis.

“You sit around talking about you want this …you want the other … you want a job … you want a car. What you don’t know is everybody that want one got one. You talking about you want one and ain’t doing nothing to get none. The people that have them is the people that wanted them. You don’t do nothing but sit around and talk about what you ain’t got. The more you sit around and talk about what you ain’t got the more you have to talk about. Wait two or three years and see what you have to talk about then.”

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Longing

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Erika LaVonn plays Risa, the waitress at Memphis’s Diner and only woman in the play.

Risa, the waitress in Memphis’s Diner has recently scarred her legs to make herself less physically attractive, so that men will pay more attention to her inner beauty.

 

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Hambone

Hambone

Godfrey Simmons Jr. plays Hambone, a man deeply scarred by the wrongs done to him

In Two Trains Running Hambone had an agreement with the local butcher to paint a fence. If he did a good job the butcher told him he would give him a ham. After the fence was painted the butcher offered him a chicken. However, Hambone believes he deserves a ham. As a result of the trauma from being wronged in this way, Hambone repeats the phrase, “I want my ham. Give me my ham.” throughout the play. Learn more about his story by checking out the show, running til February 17th!

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