Broadway's August Wilson Theatre To Be Unveiled Oct. 16

News   Broadway's August Wilson Theatre To Be Unveiled Oct. 16
 
The marquee of the newly-named August Wilson Theatre, Broadway's first house to be named for an African-American, will be unveiled Oct. 16, a day earlier than previously announced.

The 8 PM event is open to the public as Broadway's first gathering to honor the playwright since his Oct. 2 death after a battle with liver cancer.

Wilson knew of Jujamcyn Theaters' plan to re-name the Virginia Theatre on West 52nd Street, and many hoped that he might be well enough to attend the event. Participants in the rededication ceremony will be announced.

On par with tradition, the lights of all Broadway marquees will dim for one minute at 8 PM Oct. 4.

Pulitzer Prize-winner and Tony Award-winner Wilson will be remembered for his epic cycle of plays chronicling the African-American experience in the past century decade by decade. The undertaking (in order of decade which the drama is set) included Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II and Radio Golf.

Wilson's work was infused with poetry, hardscrabble realism and moments of the fantastical (sometimes all within one play, as in The Piano Lesson). Jujamcyn Theaters president Rocco Landesman said in a statement, "No playwright living today is more deserving of having a theatre named for him than August Wilson. And not just because of the Pulitzer Prizes, the Tony Award and the remarkable run of Drama Critics Circle awards. Not even because of the unprecedented nature of his ten-play cycle. Much more important than any of those is the experience that audiences have with his plays. When audiences encounter his work the effect is stunning — celebratory and mesmerizing. I've been producing and presenting work at Jujamcyn for almost two decades, but the experience of being in the theatre when one of August's plays is on the stage is uniquely pleasurable. He understands what a theatre is for, and he deserves to have his own."

To read Playbill.com's obituary of August Wilson, click here.

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