Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
February 10 - March 06, 2011
McGuire Proscenium Stage

This season the Guthrie welcomes the return of the acclaimed Penumbra Theatre Company – which last brought audiences productions of Gem of the Ocean and A Raisin in the Sun – for the limited engagement of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

It’s 1927 and fiery blues legend Gertrude “Ma” Rainey (Jevetta Steele) is getting ready to lay down a hit record with her virtuoso band. As she strides into the cramped, South Side Chicago recording studio, she squares off against a battling quartet of musicians, a tight-fisted producer and her manager who’s just trying to keep the recording session on track. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, a gripping drama from Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright August Wilson, gives us a look at a time when even the most legendary singer of her day had to fight for every scrap of respect she could get.

This production contains mature themes, language and smoking

Awards for
Ma Rainey's Black Bottom
December 31, 2010: Arizona Daily Star "Standing O for Best of Theater” by Kathleen Allen 
Best Director, Drama: Director Lou Bellamy shaped a powerful Ma Rainey's Black Bottom at Arizona Theatre Company. Best Drama: Arizona Theatre Company's production of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" was riveting.

Run time

2 hours 40 minutes including one intermission


Sponsored by Cargill and Medtronic
Media Sponsor: Minnesota Public Radio