2/28: King Hedley II at East Cleveland Theatre

Playwright August Wilson cataloged African-American life in the U.S. during the 20th century through a series of 10 plays (nine set in his native Pittsburgh), each representing a different decade. His Pulitzer and Tony-winning King Hedley II, set in 1985, depicts the increasingly desperate measures urban residents take to survive as the landscape crumbles around them. Nowhere did that landscape fall into more decay locally than in East Cleveland, where the boarded-up remnants of stately homes and gracious apartment buildings are silent testament to its past as the home of millionaires (like John D. Rockefeller) and its present as one of Ohio’s poorest cities. But some residents see a hopeful future: Nonprofit Windermere Renaissance is working to bring new homes, jobs, shopping and medical services to the community. And the East Cleveland Theater gives residents a chance to enjoy and participate in the arts. Together, they’re presenting a performance of the theater’s production of King Hedley II as a fundraiser to build a new green, sustainable home in the city. It takes place at the East Cleveland Theater (14108 Euclid Ave., 216.229.9125) at 3 p.m. Tickets are $25. There’s also a VIP reception at 2 p.m.; tickets are $100. — Anastasia Pantsios