Kennedy Center to Present Ten-Play August Wilson Cycle, August Wilson's 20th Century

News   Kennedy Center to Present Ten-Play August Wilson Cycle, August Wilson's 20th Century
Following its presentations of the works of Stephen Sondheim and Tennessee Williams, the Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts has announced that it will offer a month-long festival of August Wilson works in spring 2008.

Wilson's ten-play cycle, which chronicles the African-American experience in the 20th century, will be offered in a month-long festival in the Center's Terrace Theatre. The New York Times reports that each week a few of the plays will be presented as staged readings, while on the weekends all of the previous week's plays will be offered together.

Kennedy Center President Michael M. Kaiser told the New York paper, "We want people to have a sense of the sweep of them. . . .We’d rather present them in a way that you can come in a weekend and see three, so you can start to see how it progresses from decade to decade."

Kenny Leon, who is currently directing the Broadway-bound Radio Golf, will be the artistic director of the Kennedy Center series, which is titled August Wilson's 20th Century. Leon will be one of three directors of the ten Wilson plays, which comprise 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.

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson died Oct. 3, 2005 of lung cancer. Mr. Wilson was 60. On Oct. 16, 2005, the Virginia Theatre was renamed the August Wilson Theatre in his honor. The Signature Theatre in New York is currently presenting a season of his works.

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