Segments in this Video

August Wilson's Ten-Play Cycle (00:51)


August Wilson’s first play of his ten-play cycle--one for each decade of the twentieth century--opens in 1984. He wins praise as a "distinctive new voice in theater" and two Pulitzers for the first five plays.

Symbol of Black America (01:27)

"Two Trains Running" is set in a Pittsburgh restaurant in 1969, four years after Malcolm X's death. The main character, Hambone, symbolizes the new black American man.

August Wilson's Self Education (03:18)

Born in a Pittsburgh ghetto in 1945, Wilson’s mother teaches him pride for his black culture. A school drop-out, he learns by reading, listening, and observing the stories around him.

Wilson's Ideas on Language and Writing (03:23)

Language describes the speaker, and thought patterns lie behind that. Interpretation comes from tonal quality. Storytelling forges identity, and writing is a process of self-discovery.

Influences on August Wilson's Plays (04:13)

The blues is one of the “B’s” that influences Wilson’s plays. Music is the bedrock of his plays. The oral tradition also helps sustain the black culture. Wilson argues against assimilation.

Reality in August Wilson's Plays (04:03)

"Joe Turner's Come and Gone" is a rediscovery and celebration of self. Wilson believes the 1915 migration of blacks from the South failed. "The Piano Lesson" symbolizes black suffering.

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August Wilson

DVD Price: $99.95



Filmed on the set of Two Trains Running, one of America’s leading playwrights traces his work back to a troubled childhood in a Pittsburgh ghetto. His ongoing project to write a play on African American life set in each decade of the 20th century is one of the most ambitious endeavors in American theatrical history. In this program, he describes his award-winning plays Joe Turner’s Come and Gone and Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom as passing down the wisdom of the African American community. "It’s almost as if I’m connecting myself with something larger than myself and I trust that. It’s part of what I call the blood’s memory." (22 minutes)

Length: 22 minutes

Item#: BVL4622

ISBN: 978-1-4213-6608-1

Copyright date: ©1992

Closed Captioned

Performance Rights

Prices include public performance rights.

Not available to Home Video customers.

Only available in USA, Australia, Canada and United Kingdom of Great Britain & Northern Ireland.