A Noise Within (ANW), California’s acclaimed classic repertory theatre company, is presenting August Wilson’s American Century Cycle, Seven Guitars directed by Gregg T. Daniel.
Daniel previously directed ANW’s production of Wilson’s “Gem of the Ocean,” an LA Times Critic’s Choice, for the theatre’s 2019-2020 season.
The blues opera combines elegy, humor, and emotional grit as the characters from Pittsburgh strike their own notes in a world that threatens their hopes of stardom. The Pulitzer-nominated play continues Wilson’s theatrical saga which richly captures the spirit and heritage of Black Americans in the 20th Century.
“Each of the individuals have their own song to sing but they haven’t learned to sing it yet,” said Daniel. “As much as these friends try to harmonize with one another, too many thwarted dreams get in their way and they keep playing in different keys. Their journey is a valiant struggle to maintain their identity and dignity in a racist society imposing barriers on them — a mirror to contemporary America.”
In conjunction with the blues-inspired musical language of the play, the guitar becomes a prominent symbol of ambition and unfulfilled promise for all the characters as they navigate their lives and their relationships with each other.
“The seven characters who inhabit this thrilling piece all have a passionate story to tell, but each is incessantly muted by systemic racism. Theirs is a story of courage and resilience,” said Co-Producing Artistic Directors Geoff Elliott and Julia Rodriguez-Elliott.
Seven Guitars is on stage now through Nov. 14, 2021, with press performances on Saturday, Oct. 23 at 8 p.m. and Sunday, Oct. 24 at 2 p.m. Tickets are available on ANW’s official website.