Celebrate August Wilson With a Look Back at His Work On Broadway

Photo Features   Celebrate August Wilson With a Look Back at His Work On Broadway
The Pulitzer Prize winner, known for his 10 play series The Pittsburgh Cycle, was born April 27, 1945.
August Wilson
August Wilson David Cooper

Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award-winning playwright August Wilson was born April 27, 1945.

Regarded as one of America’s greatest playwrights, Wilson made his Broadway debut in 1984 with Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, beginning a three-decade career on the Main Stem. That play is part of Wilson's Pittsburgh Cycle, a series of plays chronicling the African-American experience in each decade of the 20th century. During the course of his career, he earned nine Tony Award nominations, winning Best Play for 1987 for Fences. Additionally, he earned a Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for Fences and then again in 1990 for The Piano Lesson.

Wilson died in 2005, but his work continues to appear on Broadway, with Jitney most recently playing the Samuel J. Friedman Theatre, completing the Pittsburgh Cycle on Broadway—and winning a 2017 Tony Award for Best Revival.

In addition to the theatrical productions of his work, Wilson's plays have been adapted for the stage twice: first with the Oscar-nominated adaptation of Fences in 2016 starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington and the acclaimed 2020 film adaptation of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom starring Viola Davis and Chadwick Boseman.

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