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August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays (second edition)

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Laurence A. Glasco and Christopher Rawson

Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation, 2015 second edition.

August Wilson is one of America’s great playwrights. He lived in Pittsburgh from his birth in 1945 to 1978, when he moved to St. Paul, MN, and later to Seattle, WA. He died in 2005 and is buried in Pittsburgh.

Wilson composed 10 plays chronicling the African American experience in each decade of the twentieth century––and he set nine of those plays in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. He turned the history of a place into great theater. His plays, including Fences, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Jitney, Gem of the Ocean, and Radio Golf have become classics of the American stage.

August Wilson: Pittsburgh Places in His Life and Plays guides visitors to key sites in the playwright’s life and work in the Hill District and beyond. This guidebook enriches the understanding of those who have seen or read his plays, inspires others to do so, and educates all to the importance of respecting, caring for, and preserving the Pittsburgh places that shaped, challenged, and nurtured August Wilson’s rich, creative legacy.

The guidebook research, writing, design, and printing was supported by a Preserve America grant from the National Park Service, administered under the Preserving African American Heritage in Pennsylvania program of the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission. BNY Mellon Foundation of Southwestern Pennsylvania and the Multicultural Arts Initiative were among the lead donors, along with 75 PHLF members and friends.

  1. The activity that is the subject of this guidebook has been financed in part with Federal funds from the National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior. However, the contents and opinions do not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Department of the Interior, nor does the mention of trade names or commercial products constitute endorsement or recommendation by the Department of Interior.
  2. This program receives Federal financial assistance for identification and protection of historic properties. Under Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964, Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, and the Age Discrimination Act of 1975, as amended, the U.S. Department of the Interior prohibits discrimination on the basis of race, color, national origin, disability or age in its federally assisted programs. If you believe you have been discriminated against in any program, activity, or facility as described above, or if you desire further information, please write to: Office of Equal Opportunity, National Park Service, 1849 C Street, N.W., Washington, D.C. 20240.

Contents include:

  • Introductions by Kimberly C. Ellis and Sala Udin.
  • Essays on the life and work of August Wilson and on Pittsburgh’s Hill District.
  • A guide to 52 places in the Pittsburgh area associated with Wilson’s life and plays.
  • Summaries of the 10 plays in Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle and a bibliography.

Book specifications:

  • 182 pages, soft cover; 5″ x 8″
  • 117 photos and maps (mostly color)
  • ISBN 978-0-9969372-0-7

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Pittsburgh History & Landmarks Foundation

100 West Station Square Drive, Suite 450

Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Phone: 412-471-5808  |  Fax: 412-471-1633