The two-part program will explore the legacy of the playwright, who is currently represented on Broadway with the Tony-nominated Best Play Radio Golf.
The first half of the program will feature a panel of Wilson's collaborators, who will discuss the process of developing and producing his plays. Panelists include producer James Houghton (Signature Theatre Company), dramaturg Todd Kreidler, director Kenny Leon (Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean), actor/director Ruben Santiago Hudson (Gem of the Ocean, Seven Guitars) and producer Jack Viertel (Radio Golf). The depth and variety of the characters Wilson created will be explored during the second half, which features chats with actors Stephen McKinley Henderson (Jitney, King Hedley II), Harry Lennix (Radio Golf), Tonya Pinkins (Radio Golf) and Phylicia Rashad (Gem of the Ocean) as well as director Kenny Leon.
The program will debut on CUNY-TV May 27 at 5 PM with repeat broadcasts scheduled for June 1 at 9 AM, 2 PM and 7:30 PM and June 2 at 11 AM. Beginning May 30 the program will be available as streaming audio and podcast by visiting www.americantheatrewing.org.
August Wilson (April 27, 1945-Oct. 2, 2005) authored 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. These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the 20th century. Wilson's plays have been produced at regional theatres across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Wilson's works garnered many awards, including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars and Jitney.
CUNY-TV is a cable channel that serves the five boroughs of New York City. The American Theatre Wing is the creator of the Tony Awards, which it presents annually with the League of American Theatres and Producers. Sondra Gilman is chairman of the Board of the Wing; Doug Leeds is president of the Board and Howard Sherman is executive director.