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The Story 

None of the issues of class, race and politics are separate, says playwright Tracey Scott Wilson. 'It all intersects,' she told Michele Volansky of the Philadelphia Theatre Company. 'I think the media likes to focus only on race, and usually in very simplistic ways. Black versus white. Guilty versus victim. But I think those lines are often blurry and complex. The personal is the political. The political is the personal. And ambition is ambition no matter what class or race you are from.' Which is just part of what inspired Wilson to pen The Story, which hits the boards starting this weekend at the Anthony Bean Community Theater. For years, Wilson had been inspired by the scandal involving Janet Cooke, an African-American reporter for The Washington Post who won the Pulitzer Prize in the early 1980s for her portrayal of a young heroin addict named Jimmy only to later confess she'd fictionalized much of the story, including the source himself. But it wasn't until after The New York Times scandal involving another African-American reporter, Jayson Blair, that Cooke finally put pen to paper, exploring how a black journalist covers the murder of a white, inner-city schoolteacher. Wilson won the 2004 Kesselring Prize for 'Exceptional Promise,' the 2002 Helen Merrill Award for emerging artist; The Story was a finalist for the 2002 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize. (Pictured: Kate Labouisse and Marie Slade Weatherspoon.) (Note: This week marks the only time the Sunday performance is at 8 p.m.; subsequent Sunday performances will be at 3 p.m.) Tickets $16 adults, $14 students/seniors.

8 p.m. Friday-Sunday, June 3-5; through June 26
Anthony Bean Community Theater, 1333 S. Carrollton Ave., 862-PLAY

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