We are nearing the end of the road. Only King Hedley, II and Radio Golf stand between us and the completion of The American Century Cycle in chronological order. Our walk with Wilson is coming to its end. But the experience of being in communion with Wilson has changed us forever. We have gone where we might not have gone, found what we did not know we had lost, and we can’t go back to where we were before we said yes to Wilson nor do we want to. The process of the production of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle in its entirety has set The Lower Bottom Playaz on their own path, distinguished them from other companies their size no matter their demographic, and made them worthy of mention in conversations of Master Wilson.
They say Hedley is the darkest of all the plays. It is the play in which Aunt Ester leaves us. It is perhaps that very fact that has kept me from starting the fanfare for what will be our biggest season. It is hard to imagine that any season will mean as much as this one where we will complete the song we found in Wilson. I am holding it inside, reluctant to share, reluctant to put finish to what I started. Wilson has been everything.
Master Wilson has been teacher, prophet, a generous and benign tormentor– refusing to let us rest until the song is completed. He has been a driving force, true north, home in a way we could not know until we walked in saying yes. He has been our reason, the explanation, the overstanding we needed to understand who we were trying to be, and where we were going in the storm. I have been reluctant to begin the end. I am tarrying with Wilson a little longer. But this private holding on must end — the band is tuning up and the song is waiting. We will finish what we have begun.
The journey from the production of Gem of the Ocean to the final season producing Hedley and Golf, has been nothing sort of mystical, but that is the way life is. Wilson has been our life for the last five years. This moment, reflecting back over how magnanimous Wilson has been to us as human beings, artist, activist and as a creative collective I am humbled by Wilson’s immense gift to us, overjoyed we found our way to the home we have found in Wilson, and deeply grateful for Wilson’s visitation.