Join us on Sunday, April 30 from 4:30 - 6 p.m. in the PONCHO Forum to celebrate one of America's most iconic playwrights, August Wilson, during his birthday week, in conjunction with Seattle Rep's production of How I Learned What I Learned running April 21 - May 14!
During this birthday celebration, local actors will perform monologues from Wilson's American Century Cycle and then a panel of artists and community leaders, including Wilson's widow, How I Learned... costume designer, and executor to the August Wilson estate, Constanza Romero, will reflect upon the importance of Wilson's legacy. There will be a very special pop-up from Black Coffee Northwest in honor of Wilson’s love of local Seattle coffee shops. We look forward to honoring this celebrated playwright with art, conversation, and delicious birthday cake with you!
The August Wilson scenes are performed with the official permission of the August Wilson Legacy LLC. Video recording is strictly prohibited for this event.
Jarron A. Williams
Jarron A. Williams, a Saint Louis native, graduated from Morehouse College in Atlanta, GA, where he pursued a degree in Drama. He recently Graduated University of Washington, with an MFA in Acting, Class of 2023. Jarron would like to dedicate this show to his lovely mother Regina C Brookfield and the Seattle theatre community for their love and support. His stage Credits include: Father Comes Home from the Wars, The Oresteia (University of Washington), and A Very Die Hard Christmas (Seattle Public Theatre), and Choir Boy (ACT Theatre).
Esther Okech (she/her) is an actor and educator from Kenya. She graduated from Cornell University where she pursued a BSc in Environmental Science and she is a recent graduate of the MFA Acting Program at the University of Washington School of Drama. Esther’s stage credits include: No Exit, The Baltimore Waltz, Father Comes Home from the Wars and The Oresteia (University of Washington School of Drama); Macbeth (Seattle Shakespeare Company).
Jesimiel Jenkins is honored to be part of such a special celebration! A second year in the Acting MFA program at the University of Washington, recent credits include UW productions of The Oresteia, Language of Angels, and Father Comes Home from the Wars, Parts 1, 2, and 3 directed by Valerie Curtis-Newton. Upcoming: In the Blood. Locally, he understudied Headmaster Marrow in ACT Theatre’s production of Choir Boy, directed by Jamil Jude. Favorite regional credits include Ragtime (Hangar Theatre), Rent (Media Theatre), The Tempest (Actors Theatre), and Big River (SFP). He has completed actor training programs at Actors Theatre of Louisville and Walnut Street Theatre in Philadelphia, PA. Before moving to Seattle in 2021, he worked in LA as a museum professional and appeared in commercials for Mitsubishi, Pedego, and Old Navy. He holds a BA in Sociology and Drama from the University of Virginia. “Your willingness to wrestle with your demons will cause your angels to sing.” -August Wilson, IG: @jesimielross
Varinique Davis (she/her) studied at the National Theatre Institute at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center. She is a member of the Miranda Family Fellowship created by Lin-Manuel Miranda. V’s credits include Seattle Repertory Theatre's Public Works productions of Winters Tale, Twelfth Night, and As You Like It; The Niceties (Intiman Theatre); Metamorphosis (Seattle Rep); Macbeth (Seattle Shakespeare Company); Mamma Mia (Village Theatre); Howl's Moving Castle (Book-it Rep); Office Hour (ArtsWest) “I would not be the artist I am today without Black influence, culture and experience. For this, I’m eternally grateful.” IG: @515davis
As a community educator and perpetual student, AJ views herself as a historical scavenger hunter who uncovers unknown and falsely taught history. Applying her natural curiosity into discovery from different avenues allows her to bring a fresh perspective to civic and historical conversations, allowing her to create programs that lessen the daunting feeling of learning history. The Kenyan native works across the African diaspora supporting and advocating for Black people as well as guiding and teaching non-POCs on how systemic racism impacts every corner of our society. When AJ’s bucket is filled, she finds self-care and the will to continue her fight in community, therapy, and comic books. If all else fails, dismantling systems that keep people of the global majority in cycles of generational misfortune tends to brighten the mood. A lot.
Sharon Nyree Williams
Sharon Nyree Williams is a storyteller, EMMY Award and Silver Telly Award winning voice-over artist, producer, presenter, and professor. She is the Executive Director for Central District Forum for Arts & Ideas, co-Chair of the Historic Central Area Arts and Cultural District, KUOW Board of Directors and a former Seattle Arts Commissioner. Sharon has a Master of Fine Arts in Arts Leadership degree from Seattle University, where she also teaches. She is a graduate of the Historical Black College and University, Delaware State University with a Bachelors of Arts in Television Production and a Masters of Business Administration degrees. Sharon has shared her stories throughout the US and Rwanda.
For more info about Sharon, www.sharonnwilliams.com, Instagram & Facebook @SharonNyreeWilliams, and Twitter @ambitiousSNW