"AIN'T IT SO..." by Charles Johnson a MET World Premiere
Retired firefighter scores success as a playwright. "Aint it So" finds dark secrets on Chicagos South Side
Multi Ethnic Theater and CJ Productions are honored to present the World Premiere of "Aint it So" by Bay Area actor/playwright Charles Johnson. The director is award-winning actor/director Richard Harder.
It is 1983. Two older African-American couples, born and raised in Alabama, live on the South Side of Chicago, waiting for the husbands to retire from their factory jobs. The wives hope to return down home, but the husbands share a secret from the past that stands in their way.
From MET Artistic Director,Lewis Campbell
Charles Johnson, a brilliant young San Francisco playwright, has written a superb drama that captures the warmth, depth and respect between two-retirement age African American couples. The couples harbor love and enduring friendship for each other; a friendship that has lasted over some thirty plus years. Their story takes place in 1983 in Jim and Mattie's old rundown apartment building on Chicago's notorious Southside where the streets are popp'n and nights are hot and long. It's a sanctuary for some and a prison for others. The two couples cope with issues that threaten to tear away at the tightly knit bond that have held many African American
families together since slaves in the United States became free. The two wives have a burning desire to return to Alabama to live out a quiet and peaceful life sitting on the front porch drinking ice tea watching the day go by. However, their husbands have other plans. Returning to Alabama is not an option for them. Little do the wives
know their husbands harbor them one of those old Southern dark secrets, which ultimately leads to a human tragedy.
Ain't it So... is the story of a forbidden love affair between a young Negro girl and a young white man which leads to a tragic scenario forty years later on Chicago's infamous South Side.
About the Playwright
Charles Johnson is a retired San Francisco firefighter, an actor and emerging playwright. After graduating high school in Heflin,Alabama, Charles moved to San Francisco where he was bitten by the acting bug. He has trained under Vicki Balich, Amy Freed, and Kay Kostopoulos, and at the A.C.T. Academy. A member of SAG and AFTRA, his film and television credits include appearances on HBO, Nash Bridges, and in films by Black Star Pictures, Rysher Entertainment, and others. On stage he has appeared in "One Flew Over the Cuckoos Nest" at Marin Theatre
Co., "A Son Come Home" at The Marsh and roles at numerous Bay Area theatres, including Bayview Opera House and Actors
Theatre-San Francisco. With Multi Ethnic Theater, he
appeared in August Wilsons "Gem of the Ocean" and "Jitney". MET recently produced his play, "Indian Summer" at San Francisos EXIT Theatre.
About the Director
Richard Harder is the Artistic Director of the multiple award-winning Off Broadway West Theatre Company at the Phoenix Theatre in San Francisco. As an actor, he started training with his mentor Jean Shelton in 1978 and was selected for master workshops with Stella Adler. He became a member of the One-Act Theatre Company in San Francisco and later the West Coast Ensemble Theatre Company of Los Angeles. He has worked at the San Francisco Mime Troup,
Lorraine Hansberry Theatre, Actors Theatre of San Francisco and the Shelton Theater. Since 2012 Harder has directed numerous productions, receiving 4-Star reviews for directing "Pvt. Wars" in 2005. He has been directed by Jean Shelton numerous times and apprenticed with her for nine years, learning to teach her acting technique. He has directed nineteen plays including the critically acclaimed "Fiction" by Steven Dietz, "Beauty of the Father" by Nilo Cruz, "How the Other Half Loves" by Alan Ayckbourn, as well as "A Streetcar Named Desire" and "Hedda Gabler".
In 2012, he was a double S.F. Critics Circle nominee for 2012 as best director, winning for Athol Fugards "Master Harold and the Boys". In 2013, he was nominated for Best Director for Harold Pinters "Betrayal".
Marjorie Crump-Shears, Anthony Damacio, Stuart Elwyn Hall, Fabian Herd II, Tenika Parks, Desiree Rogers, David Skillman, Melvin Thompson.
Stage manager: Mohammed Benkhelouf.
MULTI ETHNIC THEATER at the GOUGH STREET PLAYHOUSE (View)
1620 Gough Street (near Bush)
San Francisco, CA 94109
|Minimum Age: 12|
|Kid Friendly: No|
|Dog Friendly: No|
|Wheelchair Accessible: Yes!|