Theatre UCF presents August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the University of Central Florida Black Box theatre starting on November 17.
“What good is freedom if you can’t do nothing with it?” is the soul-searching question asked in August Wilson’s influential and inspirational first installment of his famous Pittsburgh Cycle, which consists of ten plays that chronicle the African-American experience in Pittsburgh’s Hill District in the 1900s.
In the play, many newly freed slaves find themselves at the home of Aunt Ester, a 285-year-old former slave and renowned “soul-cleanser.” Citizen Barlow comes to Aunt Ester seeking to be absolved of a crime that has thrust the Pittsburgh community into riots. With the help of some accomplices, Aunt Ester launches Citizen on a journey aboard the legendary slave ship, Gem of the Ocean, to the City of Bones, where Citizen is plunged into his ancestors’ suffering and the weight of his wrongs.
“Gem of the Ocean is wonderfully rich with the intricate layers of the African American pre- and post-slavery experience,” says Be Boyd, UCF Associate Professor who is performing the role of Aunt Ester. “The spirituality and humanity of this piece are palpable. It is one of the last two plays August Wilson wrote before his death; he knew his time was not long for this earth when he wrote this beautiful story. This play is a ‘spiritual imprint’ and one of the greatest gifts he left us.”
See the Production Calendar for dates and showtimes. All evening performances begin at 8pm. Matinees begin at 2pm.
To purchase tickets or for ticket information call the box office at (407) 823-1500. Ticket prices are $17.00 for adults, $15.00 for seniors over 55 and $10.00 for students, with group rates available. It is strongly recommended to purchase tickets in advance, available through the Theatre UCF box office. UCF offers accommodations to make the theatre more accessible to patrons with disabilities—for assistance, please call the box office in advance.