Presenting a boldly comprehensive showcase of the work of one of America's most important playwrights, the Kennedy Center announced yesterday that it will stage all 10 plays in August Wilson's epic cycle exploring the African American experience through the decades of the 20th century.
The contemporary theater has contributed few more significant and lyrical writers to modern American culture than Wilson, whose cycle of plays almost exclusively revolves around a precinct of his home town, Pittsburgh. Since his death, leaders in the American theater have been trying to sort out appropriate ways for major presentations of the entire cycle. It took Wilson about 20 years to complete the effort, which sets one play in each of the decades of the century.
Among the plays in this cycle are Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, , and The Piano Lesson.