August Wilson's American Century Cycle
Experience the Power of an American Master
Monday, July 01, 2013
August Wilson's celebrated 10-play cycle captures 100 years of African American life during each decade of the 20th century. Join us for an historic series in The Greene Space as an extraordinary cast of actors and directors — many who worked directly with Wilson — gather to make the first-ever recording of all ten plays.
The series runs from Monday, August 26, 2013 through September 28, 2013. Indira Etwaroo, Executive Producer, in partnership with the August Wilson Estate, led by Constanza Romero, Wilson's widow, will bring together many longtime Wilson collaborators and interpreters. They include the project's Artistic Director and Tony Award-winner Ruben Santiago-Hudson; Associate Director and Tony Award-nominee Stephen McKinley Henderson; Directors include Tony Award-nominee Kenny Leon; Tony Award-winner Phylicia Rashad; Michele Shay; and Marion McClinton. The readings will feature many actors reprising the roles they performed on stage, including Tony Award-winner Leslie Uggams; Drama Desk and Obie Award-winner Anthony Chisholm; Obie Award-winner Brandon Dirden; Russell Hornsby; Tony Award-winner Roger Robinson; Emmy Award-winner Keith David; Ebony Jo-Ann; John Earl Jelks; Roslyn Ruff; S. Epatha Merkerson; Wendell Pierce; Harry Lennix and Taraji P. Henson in her Wilson debut. The readings will be scored with original music by Grammy-nominated composer Bill Sims, Jr. and other composers who worked with Wilson. The plays will be presented in the order in which they premiered, with the recordings shared with institutions around the U.S.
We'll also host a companion Talk Series, giving audiences a deeper look at Wilson's works and the historic relationships he formed with his artistic collaborators.
About the Plays
Wilson's 10-play cycle chronicles the African American experience in the 20th century with each play set in a different decade. The cycle begins in the early 1900s, when wounds from slavery and the Civil War were still fresh, and closes in the 1990s, when even a large and increasingly influential black middle class would not escape persistent racial tensions. Two of the plays, Fences and The Piano Lesson, were recognized with Pulitzer Prizes.
The Greene Space is pleased to receive philanthropic support for the series from the Ford Foundation, whose mission is to support visionary leaders on the frontlines of social change, and the Jerome Robbins Foundation, whose mission is to support dance, theater and their associative arts.
Accessing Recorded Readings
Video of all the readings will only be available during the live video webcasts. We're not able to archive the video for on-demand viewing, but look for selected plays to be broadcast on WNYC and public radio stations across the country beginning spring 2015. Audio of all 10 plays will also be available here on our website for on-demand streaming. View video excerpts and photo galleries of the readings here.
Special permission for this project is provided by the Estate of August Wilson. For more information, please visit www.samuelfrench.com
August Wilson's American Century Cycle is presented, in part, with generous support from our signature sponsor:
With special thanks to our cultural partners around the country:
And thanks to our August Wilson Century Cycle Ambassadors: NJPAC, Walker International Communications, African American Literature Book Club, Mosaic Magazine, The Network Journal, Experience Harlem, Go Girl Books, African Film Festival, African Voices, Precision Plus Communications, Center for Black Literature at Medgar Evers College.