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August Wilson’s Two Trains Running
February 6 @ 3:00 pm
At the crossroads of a revolution:It’s 1969, and change is in the air. But for the owner of a threadbare diner in a dying Pittsburgh neighborhood, the civil rights movement may just be an impractical dream. Torn between whether to gamble on an urban-renewal buyout or sell his building to a predatory businessman, he finds himself caught between idealism and brutal reality. August Wilson’s searing portrait of African-American life in the ’60s tells a complex story of the inner lives of ordinary people at an explosive turning point in American history. Memphis Lee’s coffee shop lies in Pittsburgh’s Hill District, a neighborhood on the brink of economic development. The restaurant serves as a hangout for a host of regulars: a local intellectual, an elderly man who imparts the secrets of life as learned from a 322-year-old sage, an ex-con, a numbers runner, a laconic waitress who slashed her legs to keep men away, and a developmentally disabled man who was once cheated out of a ham. With Chekhovian obliqueness, the author reveals simple truths, hopes and dreams, creating a microcosm of an era and a community on the brink of change.