Actor Steven Anthony Jones is here to tell you a story. Many stories, in fact. One of the greatest American playwrights, August Wilson, learned many lessons over his life, and “Wilsonian Warrior” Jones imparts them to you in one non-stop, spellbinding performance. From life-or-death moments to the deepest love, from comedic stand-up to bursts of pure joy, Wilson’s poetry and timeless stories radiate from the Bagley Wright stage, where he himself premiered this piece. Witness the 20th anniversary production of How I Learned What I Learned where it all started and follow one of the greats from his beginning as a young Black poet from Pittsburgh to the literary giant we honor today.
Learn more about Seattle Rep's long history with August Wilson and his work on Inside Seattle Rep.
|Event Type||Event Dates|
|Preview Performances||Apr. 21 - Apr. 25|
|Opening Night||Apr. 26|
|Teen Night||Apr. 28 at 6:30 p.m.|
|August Wilson Birthday Week Celebration||April 30 at 4:30 p.m.|
|Mask-Required Performances||April 30 at 7:30 p.m. & May 10 at 2 p.m.|
|Meet the Vintner Night with Avennia Winery||May 3 at 6 p.m.|
|Student Matinee||May 4 at 10:30 a.m.|
|Art Walk Reception with Savannah LeCornu||May 4 at 6:30 p.m.|
|Open Captioning||May 4 at 7:30 p.m.|
|Actor Talk||May 11 at 9:30 p.m.|
|ASL/Audio Description||May 13 at 2p.m.|
Show ProgramShow Program
Explore the Encore+ digital show program for How I Learned What I Learned before you arrive at the theater.
Student Play GuidePlay Guide
Check out the How I Learned What I Learned student Play Guide.
Sensory GuideSensory Guide
A scene-by-scene guide of the sensory impact of this show that individuals may experience.
Show-Inspired Media ListMedia List
Librarians at Seattle Public Library curated this list of books and films to enhance your experience of How I Learned What I Learned.
Cast & Creative
Steven Anthony Jones
Steven Anthony Jones was the artistic director of the Lorraine Hansberry Theatre from 2011 to 2017. He has worked professionally on stage, television, and in film for 50 years. He has performed in the works of Wilson, (Charles) Fuller, Fugard, Stoppard, Gotanda, Beckett, Pinter, Molière, Shakespeare, Chekhov, and others. Most recently, he played Becker in the Broadway tour of August Wilson’s Jitney.
August Wilson (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 African Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century. His plays have been produced at regional theaters across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson’s 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; as well as eight 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, Jitney, and Radio Golf. 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 Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwrighting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, 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. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero.
Tim Bond is the Artistic Director of TheatreWorks Silicon Valley. He is thrilled to return to Seattle Rep with the 20th anniversary production of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned. Recent directing credits include the world premiere of The Boy Who Kissed The Sky (The Alliance Theatre and Seattle Children’s Theatre), Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), How I Learned What I Learned (Oregon Shakespeare Festival), Gem of the Ocean (TheatreWorks Silicon Valley), The Children (Seattle Rep), and Pass Over (A Contemporary Theatre). He is an internationally known director and educator with past leadership roles as Producing Artistic Director at Syracuse Stage, Associate Artistic Director at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Artistic Director at Seattle Group Theatre, and full Professor and Head of the Professional Actor Training Program at the University of Washington School of Drama. Tim has directed nationally and internationally at Market Theatre, Baxter Theatre Centre, Guthrie Theater, Seattle Rep, Milwaukee Rep, The Wilma Theater, Arena Stage, GEVA Theatre Center, Cleveland Play House, Indiana Rep, Actors Theatre of Louisville, PCPA, Arizona Theatre Co., Portland Center Stage, Dallas Theater Center, A Contemporary Theatre, Empty Space Theatre, Paul Robeson Theatre, and Seattle Children’s Theatre. He is the recipient of two Backstage West Garland Awards, two Syracuse Area Live Theatre (SALT) Awards, and a Dallas-Fort Worth Critics Forum Award.
she/her. Selected credits include: Romeo and Juliet, How I Learned What I Learned, Confederates (also at Repertory Theatre of St. Louis), Hairspray (Oregon Shakespeare Festival); The Birthday Party, Men on Boats, Chester Bailey, Underneath the Lintel (American Conservatory Theater); Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812, Blasted, Hamlet, Who’s Afraid of Virginia Woolf?, Caught (Shotgun Players); War of the Roses, As You Like It, Othello, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night (California Shakespeare Theater); The Baltimore Waltz (Magic Theatre); Leni, The Real Thing, Little Erik, Metamorphoses (Aurora Theatre Company); Mary Poppins, The Roommate, The Nether, Tree (San Francisco Playhouse); The Diary of Anne Frank, Baskerville (Center REPeretory Company); many others. Film/TV: Pushing Dead, A Blank Slate, “With Every Death,” The Big 4-0, others. Awards: Five Bay Area Critics Circle Awards for scenic and costume design; Two Theatre Bay Area Awards; Shelley, Broadway World, and Arty Awards for scenic design; others. Affiliations: Stanford University–Scenic Design Faculty; United Scenic Artists Local USA 829. Company member, Shotgun Players. ninaball.com
Work at Seattle Rep includes brownsville song (b-side for tray), Clybourne Park, The Brothers Size, Dancing at Lughnasa, and Fences. Broadway: The Mountaintop, 2010 production of Fences with Denzel Washington (Tony nomination, associate producer), Gem of the Ocean (Tony nomination), The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars. Regional theaters: August Wilson's How I Learned What I Learned (The Huntington, Signature Theater), Mark Taper Forum (Ovation Award for Best Costume Design, Gem), Denver Center Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Yale Repertory, and Seattle’s Intiman and ACT Theatres. Her costume for Aunt Ester in Gem of the Ocean is on display at the Smithsonian Museum for African American History and Culture in DC. Since 2005, she has served as the Executive Director of The August Wilson Legacy LLC, guiding many productions in The American Century Cycle both domestically and abroad. Ms. Romero has an M.F.A. from Yale School of Drama, and currently resides in Seattle with Azula Carmen Wilson, her daughter with her late husband, August Wilson.
he/him. In six seasons at Oregon Shakespeare Festival: How I Learned What I Learned; Revenge Song; It’s Christmas, Carol!; Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer; How to Catch Creation, Othello, Shakespeare in Love. Other theaters: White Noise (The Public Theater); Native Gardens, Harvey, Blithe Spirit (Guthrie Theater); Nina Simone: Four Women (Seattle Rep); Smart People, Native Gardens (Arena Stage); The Roommate (Steppenwolf); Camp David (The Ailey Theatre), Pride and Prejudice, Angels in America, Part One and Two (St. Louis Rep); Fun Home, How to Catch Creation (Baltimore Center Stage); Little Girl Blue (George Street Playhouse); Yours Unfaithfully, A Day by the Sea (Mint Theatre NYC); Misery (Cincinnati Playhouse); Noises Off (Syracuse Stage); Fences (Long Wharf Theatre, McCarter Theatre); Peter and the Starcatcher, 4000 Miles, The Mountaintop, Detroit ’67 (PlayMakers Repertory Company); My General Tubman, Two Trains Running (Arden Theatre); Outside Mullingar (Arizona Theatre Company); The Piano Lesson (Olney Theatre Center); Othello (A.R.T.); Fly (Florida Studio Theatre); Common Enemy, Red (Triad Stage); A Raisin in the Sun, Thousand Pines (Westport Country Playhouse); Two Trains Running (Two River Theater Company); Everybody, The Glass Menagerie, black odyssey, Fences (California Shakespeare Theater); Hamlet, Pippin (Arkansas Shakespeare Theatre); Pipeline (Indiana Repertory Theatre); Hypeman, The FRE (The Flea).
Rasean Davonté Johnson
Projection & Sound Designer
Rasean Davonté Johnson returns to Seattle Rep where he previously designed Fannie: The Music and Life of Fannie Lou Hamer. A Chicago-based video artist and theatrical designer, he has had the opportunity to work with institutions such as Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Portland Playhouse, Manual Cinema, Steppenwolf Theatre Company, Goodman Theatre, Chicago Shakespeare Theater, Lookingglass Theatre Company, Court Theatre, Yale Repertory Theatre, Long Wharf Theatre, McCarter Theatre Center, Berkshire Theatre Group, Alliance Theatre, Olney Theatre Center, The Studio Theatre, Woolly Mammoth Theatre, Everman Theatre, and internationally with the Edinburgh Fringe Festival (Scotland), B-Floor Theatre (Thailand), and the Ningbo Song and Dance Company (China). M.F.A. Yale School of Drama. raseandavontejohnson.com
Michael B. Paul
Michael B. Paul worked with August Wilson and Todd Kreidler on the original production of How I Learned What I Learned which was performed in the PONCHO Forum and, due to popular demand, the Bagley Wright Theater in 2003. It is an honor to stage manage the show again after 20 years. For Seattle Rep: Over 50 productions, starting in 1982 with The MOB Tour production of Newcomer, to 2022 with the Public Works workshop of Emerald City. Local theaters: The 5th Avenue Theatre, ACT, Intiman, and the Seattle Children’s Theatre. National credits include Guthrie Theater, The Shakespeare Theatre in DC, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, La Jolla Playhouse, Cincinnati Playhouse, Milwaukee Repertory Theatre, Baltimore’s Center Stage, Cleveland Play House, Manhattan Theatre Club, and the late Alaska Repertory Theatre.
Assistant Stage Manager
Shay Trusty (they/them) is excited to be working with Public Works again! Shay was last at Seattle Rep as Assistant Stage Manager for How I Learned What I Learned. Other select stage management credits include As You Like It, Tiny Beautiful Things, A Doll’s House, Part 2, and In the Heights (Seattle Rep); Sense and Sensibility, Little Shop of Horrors, Mamma Mia!, and The Book Club Play (Village Theatre); The Dina Martina Christmas Show, A Christmas Carol, and Beware the Terror of Gaylord Manor (ACT Theatre). Much love to Benji!
Oregon Shakespeare Festival
Led by Interim Executive Artistic Director Nataki Garrett, Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) expands access to the transformational power of art and art-making. A global entity and an ever-evolving container for the future that responds to changing tides, the organization is committed to co-liberation through radically inclusive, accessible, and collaborative practices, serving as an industry leader in IDEA (inclusion, diversity, equity, and accessibility) work. By centering and nurturing artists and multimodal, multidisciplinary work, OSF attracts and retains diverse talent from around the globe and is a welcoming space, both in person and online, for all audiences.
Nathaniel J. Bice
Associate Scenic Designer
Associate Lighting Designer
Tye Hunt Fitzgerald
Associate Sound & Projection Designer
Lucas Esperanza (he/him) is a Filipino American theater artist dedicated to cultivating stories and developing creative opportunities that advocate for a future that honors the voices of underrepresented communities. Lucas was a 2022/23 Directing/Artistic Apprentice here at Seattle Rep and is so excited to be joining Seattle Rep’s Public Works’ production of The Tempest!
Rebecca Clark Carey
Voice & Text Director
The Dale & Leslie Chihuly Foundation