August Wilson

August Wilson

Playwright


Biography


August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) was an American playwright whose work included a series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, depicting the comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the twentieth century. Wilson achieved seven New York Drama Critics’ Circle Awards for best play, and won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for his plays Fences (1985) and The Piano Lesson (1987).

August Wilson held Guggenheim and Rockefeller fellowships and, shortly after his death, the Virginia Theater on Broadway was renamed in his honor. In 2016, Fences was adapted for the big screen starring Denzel Washington and Viola Davis, and the August Wilson Center for African American Culture opened in Pittsburgh in 2009.


Shows by August Wilson

Title
Synopsis

The sixth Play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, Fences takes place in 1957 in what is assumed to be Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The play follows Troy Maxson, a 53-year-old man who struggles to provide for his wife and son i... read more

August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle begins with Gem of the Ocean, which takes place in 1904 in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania . Gem of the Ocean unfolds in the home of Aunt Ester, a well known 285-year-old wise w... read more

Jitney is the eighth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle. It takes place in The Hill District of Pittsburgh in 1977, in a gypsy cab station, during Pittsburgh’s period of so-called “urban renewal.” As the city tries to... read more

It is 1911 in Pittsburgh at Seth and Bertha Holly’s boardinghouse. Seth and Bertha have a group of eccentric people staying at their home, including an old, spiritual man named Bynum and a young musician named Jeremy. Through... read more

Often thought of as the most tragic of Wilson’s plays, King Hedley II is the ninth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle. The play follows King, an ex-con who is desperately trying to make $10,000 to open a video store by... read more

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom takes place in a Chicago recording studio where Ma Rainey’s band members, Cutler, Toledo, Slow Drag and Levee, wait for her to show up to record their new album. As they wait, the band players banter... read more

The Piano Lesson is the fourth play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle. It takes place in 1936 and centers around a family, more specifically, a brother and a sister. Boy Willie shows up at his sister Berniece’s home after h... read more

The tenth and final play in August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, Radio Golf follows a black man named Harmond Wilks on his quest to revive his childhood neighborhood and become the first black mayor of Pittsburgh. Wilks, his wi... read more

Seven Guitars begins and ends directly after the funeral of Floyd ‘Schoolboy’ Barton. We then flashback to the week leading up to Floyd’s unusual death. We learn that Floyd has recently been released from jail and has become... read more

The seventh play is August Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, Two Trains Running takes place in a restaurant run by a man named Memphis Lee. It is the 1960s, and the neighborhood is about to go through major economic development and... read more

Overview

Nationality
American
Born
4/27/1945
Died
10/2/2005
Show Categories
Play
Genres
Drama, Comedy

Clips