Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Performance Dates

The time is 1927. The place is a rundown recording studio in Chicago. Ma Rainey, the legendary blues singer, is due to arrive with her entourage to cut new sides of old favorites. Waiting for her are her black musician sidemen, the white owner of the record company, and her white manager. What goes down in the session to come is more than music. This first play of August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize winning 20th Century Cycle, it is a riveting portrayal of black rage…of racism, of the self-hate that racism breeds, and of racial exploitation. "Searing ... funny, salty, carnal and lyrical.... Wilson has lighted a dramatic fuse that snakes and hisses through several anguished eras of American life. - The New York Times

Production Information

Approximate Running Time
155 minutes

Creative Team

Set Designer
Costume Designer
Sound Designer
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