The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

South’s Two Trains Running revisits changing times

South Campus students Tommy Cook and Andria Buckner perform in Two Trains Running, a drama about race relations set in 1960s Pittsburgh.Haylie Jones/The Collegian
South Campus students Tommy Cook and Andria Buckner perform in Two Trains Running, a drama about race relations set in 1960s Pittsburgh.Haylie Jones/The Collegian

By Anderson Colemon/south news editor

Celebrating August Wilson’s Two Trains Running for Black History Month, South Campus students will re-enact the ’60s saga.

The play explores the changing attitude of race during 1969 from the perspective of urban black individuals.

Wilson, a Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright, wrote a number of plays set in different decades in Pittsburgh.

Today, director Lindy Benton-Muller is more than happy to bring the play to audiences.

Two Trains Running is a part of August’s Pittsburgh cycle,” she said. “He wrote a play for each decade for the 20th century, and the plays deal with black power and civil rights and how the characters are dealing with these issues.”

Benton-Muller said the play had a short rehearsal time, but for student actor Elliot Sims, the pressures of the time constraint doesn’t worry him.

“I’ve been doing plays for nine years,” he said. “I got the acting bug in eighth grade. Now, I am doing stuff for TCC.”

However, the difficulty level of the play has been a major factor for him.

“It’s been challenging to capture the real authentic nature of the play because as actors we are built to portray things too much. But the playwright August Wilson writes the characters out, and all you have to do is let go,” he said. “But where it hasn’t been challenging is because you have the freedom to just live. You don’t have to worry about the plot too much.”

Fellow actor Wallace Akins said the play and rehearsal have been wonderful for him.

“I’ve been acting ever since my mom said, ‘Boy, stop acting,’” he said. “Acting is a good expression to me.”

Akins said Benton-Muller helped him through the toughest scenes.

“Lindy is a wonderful teacher and is more like a parent to me — she puts me in place,” he said.

Andria Buckner gets the experience of playing the only female lead as Risa. In the play, she shares a relationship with the restaurant owner, Memphis Lee.

“I am a waitress in the play, and Memphis and Risa share a special relationship,” Buckner said. “They have known each other for a while and even though he’s her boss and she’s his employee, they share a dynamic because they’ve known each other for some long time, so I think she takes care of him.”

Being the only female in the cast didn’t sour Buckner on the experience.

“It’s different,” she said. “I can appreciate how every cast is different. I could be in a cast of an all-female show like I was in Steel Magnolias. That was very different obviously. So I can appreciate working with guys because they work differently from girls.”

Buckner said her plan to act in the future “depends on wherever my path ends up.”

Two Trains Running will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 21-23 in the Joe B. Rushing Center for Performing Arts. Tickets are $6 for general public, $3 for seniors and non-TCC students and free for TCC students, faculty and staff. Late seating is prohibited.

Donate to The Collegian

Your donation will support the student journalists of Tarrant County College. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Collegian