PITTSBURGH: August Wilson’s hometown newspaper, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, has announced the creation of the August Wilson American Century Cycle Award, co-sponsored by the August Wilson House, with advisory support from Constanza Romero Wilson and the August Wilson Estate.
The award “recognizes that the 10 plays, though grounded in the rich culture of the playwright’s native Hill, have found their true, enduring life in theatres all across the country,” said Christopher Rawson, the award’s originator and Post-Gazette senior theatre critic, in a statement. Rawson is also a member of the August Wilson House Board.
Qualifying theatres receive a commemorative plaque. There will also be a plaque at the August Wilson House to celebrate all of the qualifying theatres. So far, of the 15 qualifying theatres listed by the Post-Gazette, Seattle Repertory Theatre and American Stage have received their plaques already, with three more presentations planned in the next few months.
Seattle Rep and Chicago’s Goodman Theatre are the first two qualifying theatres on the Post-Gazette’s list, having finished their Cycles a few months apart in 2007. American Stage in St. Petersburg, Fla., and Broadway, being included as one group, are the most recent additions, having completed their cycles in 2017.
In a press release, the organizers of the award expressed hope to hear from theatres who may have been overlooked. Full productions, not staged readings or tours, of all of the plays are required to qualify for the award.
The current qualifying theatres, with the dates listed of their first and last plays of the Cycle, are listed below in the order they completed the 10-play Cycle.
- Goodman Theatre, Chicago, 1986-2007
- Seattle Repertory Theatre, 1986-2007
- The Black Rep, St. Louis, 1989-2008
- Pittsburgh Public Theater, 1989-2008
- Denver Center Theatre, 1989-2009
- Penumbra Theatre, St. Paul, Minn., 1984-2009
- Huntington Theater, Boston, 1986-2012
- The Ensemble Theatre, Houston, 1985-2012
- Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre, 2003-2013
- Anthony Bean Community Theater, New Orleans, 2001-2013
- The Actors Group, Honolulu, incomplete information
- The M Ensemble, Miami, incomplete information
- The Lower Bottom Playaz, Oakland, Calif., incomplete information
- American Stage, St. Petersburg, Fla., 2007-2017
- Broadway, 1984-2017