The Playgoer: August Wilson update

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Wednesday, September 21, 2005

August Wilson update

A moving article here from the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (the leading source on this so far--where's the Times!) confirming and amplifying the early reports of August Wilson's terminal illness.

For those especially interested and concerned there's info in the article about a listserv, believe it or not, his niece has organized. Presumably, it will be the prime source of health updates, but it's not a premature memorial, just building a network of people celebrating his work. To subscribe write to: and include in the body of the email "subscribe AW-L" followed by your email and your name.

For some Wilson reading, there are of course the plays. But I'm choosing to highlight this week his provocative essay "The Ground On Which I Stand," his famous (infamous, in some circles) address to the TCG conference some years ago advocating for an autonomous (not necessarily "separatist") African American theatre culture. (This was the talk that led to his contretemps with Brustein, etc.) I've always found it a powerful argument and a great read, no matter what you make of its conclusions. See the Amazon link up right for more.

Update (9/22): another fine article here in the LA Times, about the upcoming production there of Radio Golf--sadly being billed already as Wilson's "last" play. Which might be a shame if he truly did not have time to tinker with it, as per his usual routine, from production to production.

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