LOS ANGELES -- Few actors are more strongly associated with August Wilson plays than Stephen McKinley Henderson. That makes him the perfect candidate to chat about one of Wilson's go-to directors, Marion McClinton, who passed away in St. Paul this past November.

"Humanity," said Henderson, when asked about the secret to McClinton's success. "August wrote characters you never got to play before. Black people in plays either worked for someone or you only saw them intercept the lives of the main characters. Marion freed you to do things you may have had an instinct to do before but you didn't get a chance to."

Henderson, who peformed in the McClinton-directed, Olivier-winning production of "Jitney," has never acted in a Twin Cities production, but spent time in the area during the late 60s and early 70s to hang out with a girfriend. He has fond memories of checking out the ice sculptures, seeing shows at the now defunct Cricket Theatre and partying in Dinkytown.

He hopes to attend the McClinton memorial on March 1 at Pillsbury House Theatre.

"Marion was such a wonderful man," said Henderson, who stars in FX's upcoming drama, "Dev." "I can't say enough good things."


 

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