The cast for August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” L-R: front, Jason Dirden, Glynn Turman, Lillias White, Nija Okoro, Matthew Henerson; rear, Damon Gupton, Greg Bryan, Ed Swidey, Keith David and Lamar Richardson on the first day of rehearsal at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. Directed by Phylicia Rashad, the production plays September 1 – October 16, 2016. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 628-2772. Contact: CTG Publicity/ (213) 972-7376/CTGMedia@ctgla.org. Photo by Craig Schwartz.

The cast for August Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” L-R: front, Jason Dirden, Glynn Turman, Lillias White, Nija Okoro, Matthew Henerson; rear, Damon Gupton, Greg Bryan, Ed Swidey, Keith David and Lamar Richardson on the first day of rehearsal at Center Theatre Group/Mark Taper Forum. Directed by Phylicia Rashad, the production plays September 1 – October 16, 2016. For tickets and information, please visit CenterTheatreGroup.org or call (213) 628-2772. Contact: CTG Publicity/ (213) 972-7376/[email protected] Photo by Craig Schwartz.

*Rehearsals have begun for August Wilson’s blazing masterpiece “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” which begins previews September 1st, opens September 11 and continues through October 16, 2016, at the Mark Taper Forum.

Phylicia Rashad, who directed Wilson’s “Joe Turner’s Come and Gone” at the Taper in 2013, will direct this groundbreaking play that depicts the racism and exploitation in the music industry through a 1927 recording session in Chicago with a legendary blues singer. “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom” is inspired by the real-life Gertrude “Ma” Rainey.

The cast features, in alphabetical order, Greg Bryan, Keith David, Jason Dirden, Damon Gupton, Matthew Henerson, Nija Okoro, Lamar Richardson, Ed Swidey, Glynn Turman and Lillias White.