Gem of the Ocean

Rated 3.0

Playwright August Wilson took on the daunting and creative idea of writing 10 plays that explore African-American experiences through 10 different decades in the 20th century. Each play takes on some of the issues and challenges faced in each era, and in particular geographical areas, and dramatizes them through personal stories.Celebration Arts has staged most of the plays in this 10-story theatrical library, and now is tackling Gem of the Ocean, set in 1904 Pittsburgh, when slavery is still fresh in both the experiences and memories of its characters. The play presents many challenges along the way with its word-weighty script that often gets bogged down with lengthy, pontificating monologues. Still, there is a fascinating story that unfolds and some beautiful portrayals. Th, F, Sa 8 pm; Su 2pm.Through 10/31. $8-15. Celebration Arts Theatre, 4469 D Street, (916) 455-2787;