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Radio Golf program

By August Wilson
Directed by Montae Russell
Outdoors at August Wilson House
August 10 – September 14 2024
Indoor Saturday matinees at Madison Arts Center

A coproduction with

Real estate developer Harmond Wilks is determined to become the first black mayor of Pittsburgh, on a mission to revive his blighted childhood neighborhood. As Wilks confronts characters from the past, he is forced to question how pursuing change could put his neighborhood’s history at risk.

Harmond WilksRoosevelt Watts Jr.
Mame WilksDominique Briggs (at some performances)
Mame WilksKarla C. Payne (at some performances)
Roosevelt HicksRich Dickson
Elder Joseph BarlowMike Traylor
Sterling JohnsonMaurice Redwood (at some performances)
Sterling JohnsonSam Lothard (at some performances)

Setting

From the Artistic Director

In 2024 our city finds itself at the pinnacle of what the protagonist of this play dreamed of reaching. Pittsburgh finally has its very first black mayor, nearly two decades after this play’s inception.

Radio Golf is the final chapter in Mr. Wilson’s century-spanned series of plays that captured black life and black culture.

This production of Radio Golf puts us one play away from producing August Wilson’s complete American Century Cycle for the second time! We’re extremely fortunate and grateful to both the August Wilson estate and August Wilson House to be able to produce Mr. Wilson’s work not only in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District but also in the backyard of his childhood home.

We’ve put together a cast of some of the nation’s finest actors paired with a Pittsburgh native and Wilsonian actor/director to bring Mr. Wilson’s words and characters to life.

We appreciate your presence and your support of our efforts. Please enjoy your time with us and please spread the word.

Mark Clayton Southers

About the Cast

Dominique Briggs (Mame Wilks) is excited to return to Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company as Mame in August Wilson’s Radio Golf. She has appeared in numerous theater productions including The Nacirema Society, August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, the inaugural production of Shantytown, A Man of No Importance, The Green Book, Kalopsia the Musical, The Ballad of Emmett Till, August Wilson’s King Hedley II, and the inaugural production of Savior Samuel. She also served as the assistant director of the Pittsburgh Public Theater’s 2024 production of The Coffin Maker and the 2022 production of A Raisin in the Sun. Film appearances include Southpaw, House of Stones, and Set Free. Dominique is also a children’s author, writing her first children’s book, Rhea the Great Detective and the Case of the Missing Mrs. Bearington, released March 2019 then later converted to a TV/film pilot in March 2021. When not acting or writing, Dominique serves as the associate producer of Demaskus Theater Collective, loves performing as a voiceover artist, and serves as Sr. Manager of Public Works and Partnerships at the Pittsburgh Public Theater.

Rich Dickson (Roosevelt Hicks) is excited to join Pittsburgh Playwrights for August Wilson’s Radio Golf. He is a graduate of Carlow University with an MBA in Project Management and a proud member of Omega Psi Phi Fraternity Inc. He takes classes at the Professional Actor’s Studio under the direction of Nick Conti and Matt Skollar. Some of his previous theatre appearances include The Green Book, Dinah, and Our Song. He can also be seen on Netflix’s Rustin, Starz’ BMF, and other shows to include Sistas, Mayor of Kingstown, and Lee Daniels’ The Deliverance. Rich is managed by Docherty Talent Agency.

Sam Lothard (Sterling Johnson) Born in Youngstown/Campbell Ohio, Sam is now a proud Pittsburgher. If you are a fan of Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater, then hopefully you’ve seen Sam perform in some of the many productions he’s been in with PPTCO over the years. You may have seen Sam as Slow Drag in August Wilson’s Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, and as Mister in King Hedley II, also as Seth Holly in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Sam played (David) in Mark Southers’ award-winning film “Cyril” (R.I.P Cyril Wecht, we miss you already). Not only a Wilsonian actor, Sam is also a Shakespearean actor as well, having done, Shakespeare’s As You Like It with PICT. Sam performed in Dr. Maya Angelou’s, I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings and John Steinbeck’s Of Mice and Men, both with Prime Stage Theater. Sam enjoyed his experience performing in Lorraine Hansbury’s Raisin in The Sun with Pittsburgh Public Theater. Sam is Super excited to work on Radio Golf with the director and cast whom he considers his theater family, yet again! Put God first. Shoot your shot. Chase your dreams.” Big Sam

Karla C. Payne (Mame Wilks) is an actor, voice-over artist, and poet who has appeared in countless productions for several theater companies, including The Barnstormers Theatre (New Hampshire), City Theatre Company, New Horizon Theater, and Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company, where she most recently appeared as Martha Pentecost in the 2023 production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Karla also notably portrayed Beverly Jenkins in Chicken and Biscuits, produced by New Horizon Theater in spring 2023, and was featured in a film short entitled As I Please, scored by the Grammy Award-winning Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra. In 2023, Karla launched her company, InnerVizions Coaching & Wellness LLC, providing performance and life coaching for actors. She has also written an ebook entitled The Zen Actor’s Guide: Unleashing Your Inner Confidence for Fearless Performances. Karla is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated and the Pittsburgh chapter of The Pierians, Incorporated.

Maurice Redwood (Sterling Johnson) is thrilled to be back on the PPTCO stage for the second year in a row, after previously portraying Jeremy in last year’s production of August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Also an accomplished filmmaker and director, he released his first feature film, House of Stones, on YouTube in 2024. Maurice, along with his brother Carter, was a 2023 August Wilson House fellow at Duquesne University in partnership with August Wilson House. Notable stage and screen credits include: Stage – August Wilson’s Fences, August Wilson’s Jitney, August Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone (Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Co.), One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest (Barebones Production Co.), Lower Ninth (Caravan Theater of Pittsburgh), Shakespeare’s King Lear (Pittsburgh Irish & Classical Theater), Pill Hill (New Horizon Theater), and Black Nativity (Shona Sharif African Dance & Drum Ensemble); Film – House of Stones (Redwood Media Group), Per-Sep-Shuhn (TeeJay Vision Films), Chocolate for Life (UWebTv Studios). “Many thanks to Mark, Montae, the entire cast & crew, and most importantly my family! / am honored and humbled to breathe life into Mr. Wilson’s words.”

Mike Traylor (Elder Joseph Barlow) NEW BIO COMING

Roosevelt Watts Jr. (Harmond Wilks) was last seen as Montrellous in Lynn Nottage’s play Clyde’s with the Boise Contemporary Theater in Boise, ID. He was featured as Herold Loomis with Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone in August 2023 in Pittsburgh and Black Theater Troupe in Phoenix, Arizona. He appeared as Shealy in the stage play Jitney performed in the Hill District at the childhood home of August Wilson in Pittsburgh, PA, in August 2022. This is his 3rd year working with PPTCO and he is honored to be part of the Pittsburgh family of amazing talent! Being “bit by the theater bug” in 2011’s Revenge of A King, written by Herb Newsome, Roosevelt has acted in several productions since then, including A Soldier’s Play in Feb. 2022, Black Nativity 2012-2015, Radio Golf 2014, Fences (understudy), Tommy J & Sally, and more. Roosevelt himself is a playwright, having written, directed, and produced three original stage plays (A Journey to a Purpose, History vs Struggle: The Ancestors Speak, and ASHA) and his Youth Creator’s Theatre Workshops. He looks forward to continuing working, and writing, and hoping to complete the August Wilson’s cycle of plays.

Creative Team & Staff

PlaywrightAugust Wilson
DirectorMontae Russell
Stage ManagerMichele Lee Betts
Asst. Stage ManagerAshley Southers
Scenic DesignerMark C. Southers
Lighting DesignerLatrice Lovett
Costume DesignerCheryl El Walker
Makeup & HairCheryl El Walker
Sound DesignerBen Cain
ChoreographersRich Dickson, Montae Russell
Scenic PaintingMatthew Southers, Marcus Carl Southers
ElectriciansJason Kmetic, Piper Clement
Set ConstructionMarcus Carl Southers, Matthew Southers, Charlie Grey,
Austin Sills, Momar Milliones
PropsSarah “Gracie” Jackson, Ashley Southers
Lighting EngineerMarcus Carl Southers
Sound EngineerMatthew Southers
CrewSarah Gracie Allen, Matthew Southers Jr,
Marcus Carl Southers, Charlie Gray
Box officeNeicy Readie Southers
GreeterReggie Howze aka “Uncle Reggie”
ConcessionsAndre Joseph Clayton Southers, Neicy Readie Southers,
Marcus Carl Southers, Charlie Gray

About the Creative Team

August Wilson (Playwright, April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of the descendants of Africans brought to North America, decade by decade, over the course of the twentieth century.

These plays form a compilation entitled The American Century Cycle. Mr. Wilson’s plays have been produced on Broadway, at regional theaters across the country and all over the world. In 2003, he made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. His works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987) and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, and Jitney. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including the Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, was awarded the 1999 National Humanities Medal by President Bill Clinton, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street – The August Wilson Theatre. Today, he is considered one of America’s finest playwrights. New York Public Radio recorded all ten plays in The American Century Cycle at the Greene Space, casting many of the actors that worked on the original productions. PBS aired a documentary on Mr. Wilson entitled The Ground On Which I Stand, as part of the American Masters series. A feature film adaptation of Fences released in 2016 was nominated for the Best Picture Oscar and received many more awards. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death in 2005. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero, who is the executor of his estate.

Montae Russell (Director, Choreographer) is pleased to return to the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre after directing their hit production, East Texas Hot Links. He’s a veteran television, film, and theatre actor who was seen on NBC’s ER for fifteen seasons as Paramedic Dwight Zadro. His film credits include Black Boy Joy, The Player’s Club, Laurel Avenue, Lily in Winter, and most recently The Beauty of Poverty, and Redacted. His extensive stage credits range from Broadway’s King Hedley ll (as Mister, alongside Viola Davis and Leslie Uggams), A Few Good Men, Prelude to a Kiss, as well many performances throughout the American Stage, which include the one man shows Thurgood and Bird Lives! Montae has performed in all 10 August Wilson “Pittsburgh Cycle” plays, including originating the role of Youngblood in the original production of Jitney. He’s a University of Pittsburgh grad and earned his MFA from Rutgers’ Mason Gross School of the Arts. He’s a member of Phi Beta Sigma Fraternity and is active in the South LA area with his non-profit group Successful Youth Los Angeles. 

Michele Lee Betts (Stage Manager) is known as the People’s Stage Manager. She has stage managed over 200 theatrical, musical, contemporary and African dance performances. Michele has worked with national, international and local companies, such as Legacy Arts Project, Balafon West African Dance Company, Kelly Strayhorn Theatre and Pittsburgh Playwrights. Her favorite saying : “WE ARE AT PLACES.”

Ben Cain (Sound Designer) is an actor and sound designer. He is a huge fan and family member of PPTCO who is always honored to work with this company and Mark Southers. As an actor he can be seen on many shows including Bel-Air on Peacock, Long Slow Exhale on Spectrum/BET, Buried in Barstow on Lifetime, American Rust 2 on Amazon Prime and Beacon 23 on MGM+. Doing sound design is a passion that has grown over the years and he looks forward to doing more.

Cheryl El-Walker (Costumes, Makeup & Hair) OLD BIO is an award-winning costume designer and makeup artist who is also a veteran stage actor from Pittsburgh. She is the resident costume/makeup artist for the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. Her creative work in various venues has earned her several Onyx awards from the African American Council of the Arts (AACTA): Best Make-up Artist (2007); Best Costume for a Musical for Christmas Is Coming Uptown (2008); Best Leading Actress for Freeman (New Horizon Theatre, 2008); Best Costume Design for a Play (Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012) and the PPTCO 2012 Legacy Award. In 2013, Cheryl debuted another one of her skills and received PPTCO’s Theater Festival in Black and White Award for Best Director. Most recently, Cheryl provided costume/makeup for Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Cheryl is an alumna of Point Park University and is pleased to announce that she has done costume, makeup and special effects for all ten August Wilson plays.

Latrice Lovett (Lighting Designer) OLD BIO is a native of Washington, DC who currently resides in High Point, NC. She has done lighting in several different genres of the performing arts including dance, theatre, musical theatre, live concerts and opera. She completed her bachelor’s degree at North Carolina Central University in Technical Theatre. She has also received her MFA in Design & Technology from University of Missouri-Kansas City where she studied Lighting Design. She is currently creating lighting designs and working on other lighting projects under her company Lovett Lighting LLC.

Ashley Southers (Assistant Stage Manager) OLD BIO has always had a passion to pursue the arts. She loves working alongside her family at Pittsburgh Playwrights Theater Company. She considers herself a jack of all trades as well as a D-I-A-P (Do-It-All-Person). She graduated from Point Park University in 2018, with a Bachelor’s Degree in English/Creative Writing. In her free time, she loves writing, watching movies, and hanging out with family, friends, and her dogs Cocoa and Bentley. She would like to thank her father Mark Southers for being an inspiration for her upbringing. She always enjoys challenging herself, and expanding her creativity through the arts.

Mark Clayton Southers (Producing Artistic Director, Scenic Designer) OLD BIO and his family reside in Pittsburgh’s historic Hill District. He is an award-winning playwright, stage director, scenic designer, photographer and theatrical producer. He is the founder and producing artistic director of the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company where he has produced well over 175 full-length and one-act plays, including August Wilson’s complete 10 play Pittsburgh Century Cycle. Favorite directing credits include Paul Robeson for the Griot Ensemble Theatre Company, Pill Hill for New Horizon Theatre, Dutchman for Bricolage Theater Company, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and The Piano Lesson for American Stage Theatre, Gem of the Ocean for Human Race Theatre, Angry Black Man Poetry for Theatre Śląski, Passing Strange for Short North Theatre, Papa Doc for Trilogy Opera Company, Sty of The Blind Pig for The Banyan Theatre Company, A Soldier’s Play for Phoenix Black Theatre Troupe, and Dorothy Six, Seven Guitars, VALU-MART, The Battle of Homestead and Jitney for The Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. He’s also the resident August Wilson Cycle director at Pittsburgh’s CAPA. For more info please visit www.markclaytonsouthers.com

PPTCO Staff and Board

See our staff and board members here.

Special Thanks

TBD

Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company thanks the following for supporting our season of plays and special projects:


We also thank our donors! Click for a complete list, and learn how to become a PPTCO donor.

Printed program design and editing by Michelle Belan.
Online program design and editing by Steven Doerfler.

August Wilson’s Radio Golf is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc. www.concordtheatricals.com