Film Study for Adults: August Wilson
Led by filmmaker, actor, and teacher Robert Manning, Jr, this TPH Education at Home class will explore the work and life of August Wilson — his plays, his movies, and his politics. Films will include Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, and Fences. Classes will meet weekly on Saturdays on Zoom; Class dates/times are February 6 from 7 to 8 pm, and February 13, 20, and 27 from 5 to 6 pm.
This class functions much like a book club — students watch the films at home through available streaming services, and arrive at class for additional content and robust discussion led by the instructor. (You will need Netflix and Amazon Prime Video accounts to access the movies.) There will be no movie to watch prior to the first class. Classes will be recorded through Zoom and a link to the recording can be sent to students who are unable to attend.
About the Instructor: Robert Manning, Jr.
Robert Manning, Jr. is a professional actor, filmmaker, and teacher living and working in New York City. After graduating from Howard University as a Biology major, Manning began acting in plays in the evenings after work. Once he found his way onto a stage, he never looked back.
He attended the University of Washington in Seattle and graduated Summa Cum Laude with a Master of Fine Arts degree in Acting. He has worked as an actor in LA and New York, on stage and on screen. His film credits include: The Incredible Burt Wonderstone and Frogtown. Some television credits include: The Brides (Pilot), Blue Bloods, Master of None, Person of Interest, Reunion, The Blacklist, Southland, South of Nowhere, Criminal Minds, and N.C.I.S. He has performed on Broadway in Magic Bird; Off-Broadway in Joe Fearless; and regionally as Sterling in August Wilson’s Two Trains Running, Cassio in Othello, and Capt. Lee King in Pasadena Playhouse’s production of Defiance (2008 NAACP Theatre Award Nomination in the Best Lead Actor). He received a 2010 NAACP Nomination for Battle Hymn by Jim Leonard in the Best Supporting Category and a 2012 NAACP Win for Blues for Alabama Sky’s best ensemble.
As a writer/director, Manning was a proud member of the LA based Playwrights 6. He has written two feature films, two pilots for television, two theatrical plays, and a number of short works. Additionally, he founded and co-owns Alpha and Omega Productions with Scott Fernstrom and has produced numerous short films and a web series.
Manning has been a member of the American Musical and Dramatic Academy (AMDA) faculty for over ten years and believes that sharing his expertise and passion for the arts is vital for the arts to survive and thrive. He also believes that the arts are crucial for creating community and serve as a catalyst for meaningful dialogue that can spark change. Manning spent the last summer traveling the U.S. documenting the racial and civil unrest and is in the process of creating a documentary about the experience. Having directed and acted in many of August Wilson’s plays, in addition to spending time at Penumbra Theatre in St. Paul, Minnesota where Mr. Wilson produced some of his earliest works, Manning will lend his expertise and understanding to our upcoming Film Study for The Picture House.