King Hedley II

King Hedley II

Category
Play
Number of Acts:
2 Acts
First Produced:
1999
Genres
Drama
Settings
Unit/Single Set
Time & Place
pittsburgh, pennsylvania, 1985
Cast Size
small
Licensor:
Ideal For
college, community theatre, professional
Casting Notes:
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, elderly characters
Tags:

Synopsis

Often thought of as the most tragic of Wilson’s plays, King Hedley II  is the eighth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle. The play follows King, an ex-con who is desperately trying to make $10,000 to open a video store by stealing stolen refrigerators. We also meet his mother Ruby, his wife, Tonya, his best friend, Mister, his next door neighbor, Stool-Pigeon, and Ruby’s ex-lover, Elmore. The play features characters from Wilson’s earlier work, Seven Guitars (Ruby and Canewell, known here as Stool-Pigeon) and mentions other characters from the rest of the cycle. King Hedley II is the son of Ruby and King Hedley I (known as simply Hedley in Seven Guitars), although the true identity of his biological father is unknown. The play takes place in the 1980s, a time of excessive violence amongst and against African-Americans. Touching many of the same themes that Wilson brings up in his other plays, King Hedley II  explores what happens when black men feel worthless and black women feel forgotten. King spends a lot of the play scraping at the dirt, trying to plant seeds where nothing can grow: this becomes the perfect metaphor for his life as well as the general African-American experience of the time.


Characters

Male

Lead

Spoken

Female

Lead

Spoken

Female

Lead

Spoken



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