Laura Wilson, Brittany Bellizeare, Brandon J. Dirden, Elain Graham, Brian D. Coats, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Blake Morris. Photo by Lia Chang

All Access Pass to August Wilson’s KING HEDLEY II at Two River Theater

Photography, Theater

I had an all access pass to Two River Theater’s critically-acclaimed production of August Wilson’s King Hedley II, directed by Brandon J. Dirden. Check out the photos from rehearsal in November to the closing night performance of the extended run on December 16, 2018.

Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Harvy Blanks, Brittany Bellizeare, Charlie Hudson III and Brian D. Coats take a break from rehearsal on November 4, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Harvy Blanks, Brittany Bellizeare, Charlie Hudson III and Brian D. Coats take a break from rehearsal on November 4, 2018. Photo by Lia Chang

Mr. Dirden, the award-winning actor/director who has appeared in five Two River productions, including, most recently, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and A Raisin in the Sun-directs this sequel to Seven Guitars, which was produced under his direction at Two River in 2015.

Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon J. Dirden. Photo by Lia Chang

King Hedley II picks up the stories of Ruby and Canewell (known here as Stool Pigeon) from the earlier drama, which is set in the 1940s.

The year is 1985 and Pittsburgh’s Hill District has been ravaged by violence, unemployment, and Urban Blight. King Hedley II returns to his home after a seven-year prison term looking to re-build his life, save some money, and start a family. However, both he and those around him quickly find that in 1980s America, the rules have changed.

The cast of King Hedley II includes Brittany Bellizeare (Tonya), Harvy Blanks (Elmore), Brian D. Coats (Stool Pigeon), Elain Graham (Ruby), Charlie Hudson III (Mister), and Blake Morris (King Hedley II).

Harvy Blanks, Charlie Hudson III, Elain Graham, Blake Morris, Brittany Bellizeare and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Harvy Blanks, Charlie Hudson III, Elain Graham, Blake Morris, Brittany Bellizeare and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

L to R: Brandon J. Dirden, Jackie Romeo, John Dias, Harvy Blanks, Charlie Hudson III, Joaquin Gomez, Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Laura Wilson, Kathy Perkins, Brian Eckert. Photo by Lia Chang

L to R: Brandon J. Dirden, Jackie Romeo, John Dias, Harvy Blanks, Charlie Hudson III, Joaquin Gomez, Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Laura Wilson, Kathy Perkins, Brian Eckert. Photo by Lia Chang

The creative team includes scenic designer Michael Carnahan, costume designer Karen Perry, lighting designer Kathy A. Perkins, sound designer Kay Richardson, and wigs designer Erin Hicks. The fight direction is by UnkleDave’s Fight-House, the casting is by Heidi Griffiths & Kate Murray, and the stage manager is Laura Wilson.

August Wilson is the 10th most produced playwright of the current season in the United States, according to American Theater magazine. This production marks the halfway point in Two River Theater’s commitment to present all 10 plays of August Wilson’s American Century Cycle.

Set design by Michael Carnahan. Photo by Lia Chang

Set design by Michael Carnahan. Photo by Lia Chang

2:15pm – Fight Call

Fight call: Elain Graham, Harvy Blanks and Blake Morris. Photo by Lia Chang

Fight call: Elain Graham, Harvy Blanks and Blake Morris. Photo by Lia Chang

2:30pm – Hair and Makeup

2:54pm – Pre-show prayer circle

Charlie Hudson III, Brian D. Coats, Brandon J. Dirden, Brittany Bellizeare and Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

Charlie Hudson III, Brian D. Coats, Brandon J. Dirden, Brittany Bellizeare and Harvy Blanks. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian D. Coats, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Harvy Blanks, Blake Morris, Brandon J. Dirden and Charlie Hudson III in the pre-show prayer circle. Photo by Lia Chang

Brian D. Coats, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Harvy Blanks, Blake Morris, Brandon J. Dirden and Charlie Hudson III in the pre-show prayer circle. Photo by Lia Chang

Intermission

Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Harvy Blanks, Blake Morris, Charlie Hudson III and Elain Graham in costumes by Karen Perry. Photo by Lia Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Harvy Blanks, Blake Morris, Charlie Hudson III and Elain Graham in costumes by Karen Perry. Photo by Lia Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Harvy Blanks, Blake Morris, Charlie Hudson III and Elain Graham in costumes by Karen Perry. Photo by Lia Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Harvy Blanks, Blake Morris, Charlie Hudson III and Elain Graham in costumes by Karen Perry. Photo by Lia Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Harvy Blanks, Blake Morris, Charlie Hudson III, Elain Graham and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Harvy Blanks, Blake Morris, Charlie Hudson III, Elain Graham and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Post-show

Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Blake Morris, Elain Graham, Brittany Bellizeare, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Brian D. Coats. Photo by Lia Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Harvy Blanks, Elain Graham, Charlie Hudson III, Blake Morris. Photo by Li Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Harvy Blanks, Elain Graham, Charlie Hudson III, Blake Morris. Photo by Lia Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Harvy Blanks, Elain Graham, Brandon J. Dirden, Charlie Hudson III, Blake Morris. Photo by Li Chang

Brittany Bellizeare, Brian D. Coats, Harvy Blanks, Elain Graham, Brandon J. Dirden, Charlie Hudson III, Blake Morris. Photo by Lia Chang

Laura Wilson, Brittany Bellizeare, Brandon J. Dirden, Elain Graham, Brian D. Coats, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Blake Morris. Photo by Lia Chang

Laura Wilson, Brittany Bellizeare, Brandon J. Dirden, Elain Graham, Brian D. Coats, Charlie Hudson III, Harvy Blanks and Blake Morris. Photo by Lia Chang

Brandon J. Dirden, Lia Chang and Charlie Hudson III. Photo by Laura Wilson

Brandon J. Dirden, Lia Chang and Charlie Hudson III. Photo by Laura Wilson

Lia Chang is an actor, a multi-media content producer and co-founder of Bev’s Girl Films, making films that foster inclusion and diversity on both sides of the camera. Bev’s Girl Films’ debut short film, Hide and Seek was a top ten film in the Asian American Film Lab’s 2015 72 Hour Shootout Filmmaking Competition, and she received a Best Actress nomination. BGF collaborates with and produces multi-media content for artists, actors, designers, theatrical productions, composers,  musicians and corporations. Lia is also an internationally published and exhibited photographer, a multi-platform journalist, and a publicist. Lia has appeared in the films Wolf, New Jack City, A Kiss Before Dying, King of New York, Big Trouble in Little China, The Last Dragon, Taxman and Hide and Seek. She is profiled in Jade Magazine and Playbill.com.

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