Wilson, August

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Wilson, August,

1945–2005, American playwright and poet, b. Pittsburgh as Frederick August Kittel. Largely self-educated, Wilson first attracted wide critical attention with his Broadway debut, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom (1984), a play set in 1927 that dramatizes the clash between the blues diva and a member of her band and the larger conflicts brought about by racist American society. Wilson's plays center on the struggles and identity of African Americans and the deleterious effect of white American institutions on black American life. His works draw heavily on Wilson's own experience growing up in the Hill district of Pittsburgh, a black ghetto where nearly all of his plays are set. His characters are ordinary people whose histories, frustrations, and aspirations Wilson astutely portrays. His cycle of ten dramas written over a period of more than 20 years include various overlapping characters and themes. In addition to Ma Rainey, it includes Jitney (1982), Fences (1987; Pulitzer Prize, Tony Award), Joe Turner's Come and Gone (1988), The Piano Lesson (1990; Pulitzer Prize), Two Trains Running (1992), Seven Guitars (1995), King Hedley II (2001), Gem of the Ocean (2003), and Radio Golf (2005). Acclaimed as landmarks in the history of black American culture, these works focus on the major issues confronting African Americans during each of the decades of the 20th cent. In 2003, Wilson starred in a production of his autobiographical one-man play How I Learned What I Learned.


See studies by M. Elkins, ed. (1994), A. Nadel, ed. (1994), K. Pereira (1995), S. G. Shannon (1995), J. Herrington (1998), Y. Shafer (1998), M. L. Bogumil (1999), Q. Wang (1999), P. Wolfe (1999), H. Bloom, ed. (2002), H. J. Elam, Jr. (2004), and M. E. Snodgrass (2004).

Wilson, August

(1945–  ) playwright; born in Pittsburgh, Pa. A writer who never finished high school, he won two Pulitzer Prizes for his plays, which depict the black experience in America: Fences (1987) and The Piano Lesson (1990). His goal was to write a cycle of plays, one set in each decade of the 20th century. He founded Minnesota's Black Horizons Theatre Company. His Ma Rainey's Black Bottom won a New York Drama Critics Circle Award (1984–85).
References in periodicals archive ?
Summary: London [UK], Aug 10 (ANI): The Emmy award winning actor, comedian, and writer, Bill Murray got emotional when he recently attended the performance of the musical "Groundhog Day" at the August Wilson Theater in New York City.
Synopsis: August Wilson (April 27, 1945-October 2, 2005) was an American playwright who won two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama with 'Fences' and 'The Piano Lesson".
And welcome back top playwrights Ayad Akhtar, August Wilson, Tennessee Williams, Lauren Gunderson, Ken Ludwig, and Rick Elice.
Shannon describes playwright August Wilson (1945-2005) as an autoethnographer, storyteller, medium, and culture bearer, who placed himself in his ten-play cycle as both subject and object and as an oAfrican-in-Americao, and who used dramaturgy as a means of navigating the complexities of his life as the child of a white German immigrant and a black mother.
Neighboring businesses include Victor's Caff, Gallaghers Steakhouse, and the Neil Simon and August Wilson Theaters.
Washington analyzes the summonses to and from the Gods that resonate in the music of such artists as Erykah Badu, The RZA, Sun Ra, X Clan, and Rakim, using literary analysis as a prism to display the diversity of Africana divinity to reveal that the literature of such writers as August Wilson, Walter Mosley, Toni Morrison, Ngugi wa Thiong'o, and Ishmael Reed are three-way mirrors that eternally reflect and project the Gods, their myriad powers, and their weighty responsibilities.
Kang, August Wilson, Suzan-Lori Parks, and Drew Hayden Taylor, among others.
This is the fifth August Wilson play she has directed.
Writing in the grand tradition of Eugene O'Neill and Arthur Miller, August Wilson is widely considered to be one of the most significant contributors to American drama and has won almost every significant award.
After his gripping piece for August Wilson Center Dance Ensemble wowed the Jazz Dance World Congress last summer, and before his first work for the Alley company debuts in December, he'll show Pavement at Harlem Stage's Gatehouse (and also Swarthmore College outside Philadelphia) this month.
Keeping it Real': August Wilson and HipHop" (85-100); Dorothea Fischer-Hornung, "Giving Voice and Vent to African American Culture: Katherine Dunham's Struggle for Cultural Ownership in Mambo (1954)" (101-18); Sybil J.
a Nadelas work as a scholar and editor is a significant contribution to scholarship on August Wilson.