Short North Stage will hold a staged reading of August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean" Jan. 14-17, with an opening reception prior to the Jan. 15 performance, starting at 6 p.m. "Gem of the Ocean" spins the tale of a former slave, 287-year-old Aunt Ester, and the healing journey on which she guides a young black man from Alabama who is searching for his identity and redemption. The performances kick off the Short North Stage-hosted August Wilson Festival, a year-long celebration of Wilson's work.

Short North Stage will hold a staged reading of August Wilson's "Gem of the Ocean" Jan. 14-17, with an opening reception prior to the Jan. 15 performance, starting at 6 p.m. "Gem of the Ocean" spins the tale of a former slave, 287-year-old Aunt Ester, and the healing journey on which she guides a young black man from Alabama who is searching for his identity and redemption. The performances kick off the Short North Stage-hosted August Wilson Festival, a year-long celebration of Wilson's work.