jakub | April 19, 2024

AMERICAN THEATRE | Offscript: Harry Lennix & Ken-Matt Martin Rediscover August Wilson in Chicago


Harry Lennix and Ken-Matt Martin.

Offscript, American Theatre’s flagship podcast for a number of years, is back as a Facebook Live chat with the magazine’s editors and special guests as well as an audio podcast.

This month editor-in-chief Rob Weinert-Kendt and Chicago editor Jerald Raymond Pierce chat with actor Harry Lennix and director Ken-Matt Martin, who are preparing to stage the Chicago premiere of August Wilson’s autobiographical solo play How I Learned What I Learned. Presented by Broadway In Chicago and Congo Square Theatre Company, the production runs April 20-May 5 at the Broadway Playhouse. For this limited runn, Lennix will take a break from starring as Sonny in Branden Jacobs-Jenkins’s explosive family drama Purpose at Steppenwolf Theatre Company (he’s in the show through Apr. 18, then goes back in May 7-12). They discuss the significance of the solo play, Wilson’s lasting influence on storytelling, and Harry’s experience performing in two shows at once. Later in the episode, the editors check in with WBEZ theatre reporter Mike Davis about some of the city’s storefront standouts.

Harry Lennix is an accomplished film, television, and stage actor. He is known for his work on NBC’s The Blacklist, several of August Wilson’s century cycle plays, and his Shakespeare credits. He is a graduate of Northwestern University and a co-founder of the Lillian Marcie Performing Arts Center.

Ken-Matt Martin is a producer and director who has worked at regional theatres across the country. He is a co-founder of Pyramid Theatre Company and was recently appointed interim artistic director of Baltimore Center Stage and Arkansas Repertory Theatre.

Mike Davis is an arts and culture reporter at WBEZ 91.5 Chicago. He previously worked for KUOW Puget Sound Public Radio in Seattle.

You can download the episode here and watch the original Facebook chat here. If you have any feedback or suggestions for Offscript, please reach out to at@tcg.org.

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