August Wilson wrote his first notable play in 1979, Jitney, for which he earned a fellowship at the Minneapolis Playwright Center.
In 1981, Wilson married Judy Oliver. The following year, his new play, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, was accepted at the Eugene O'Neill Playwright's Conference. The year 1982 was particularly fruitful for Wilson, as it marked his introduction to Lloyd Richards, who went on to direct Wilson's first six Broadway plays.
Wilson's play Fences premiered on Broadway in 1987, earning the playwright his first Pulitzer Prize as well as a Tony Award. Joe Turner opened on Broadway in 1988.
Wilson divorced Judy Oliver in 1990. He took home another Pulitzer Prize that same year, this time for The Piano Lesson, following its Broadway premiere.
A collection of Wilson's work, entitled Three Plays by August Wilson, was published in book form in 1991. The following year brought the Broadway premiere of Two Trains Running.
In 1994, Wilson married for the third time, to a costume designer named Constanta Romero. Seven Guitars made its way to the Broadway stage two years later, followed by the birth of Wilson's and Romero's daughter, Azula, in 1997
August Wilson center for American culture:
One of only two major arts institutions in the world named for Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winning playwright and Pittsburgh native August Wilson, the August Wilson Center for African American Culture engages regional and national audiences in its mission of preserving, presenting, interpreting, celebrating and shaping the art, culture and history of African Americans utilizing the rich history, legacy and culture of African Americans from Western Pennsylvania as a foundation. From its new home in a vibrant Cultural District, the sleekly modern August Wilson Center offers multiple exhibition galleries, a 486-seat theater for performances in all genres, an education center for classes, lectures and hands-on learning, and dazzling spaces for community programs and events. The Center is a place like no other for experiencing theater, dance, music, history, film, literature, visual art, interactive education and spectacular entertainment, all under one roof.
August Wilson about.com:
Pulitzer Prize winning playwright August Wilson (April 27, 1945 - October 2, 2005) is one of the most influential writers in American theater. He is best known for his unprecedented cycle of 10 plays, often called the Pittsburgh Cycle because all but one play is set in the Pittsburgh neighborhood where August Wilson grew up. The series of plays chronicle the tragedies and aspirations of African Americans during each decade of the 20th century.
Newyorktimes.com august Wilson:
By the time he was 20, Mr. Wilson had decided he was a poet. He submitted poems to Harper's and other magazines while supporting himself with odd jobs, and began dressing in a style that raised eyebrows among his peers. While most of the young men of the time were dressing down, Mr. Wilson was always meticulously turned out in jackets, ties and white shirts selected from thrift shops. Later he would be known for his trademark porter's cap.
Inspired by the Black Power movement then gaining momentum, Mr. Wilson and a group of fellow poets founded a theater workshop and an art gallery, and in 1968 Mr. Wilson and his friend Rob Penny founded the Black Horizons on the Hill Theater. Mr. Wilson was the director and sometimes an actor, too, although he had no experience, and learned about directing by checking a how-to manual out of the library. The company was without a performance space and staged shows in the auditoriums of local elementary schools. Tickets were sold, for 50 cents a pop, by chatting up people on the streets right before a performance.
But Mr. Wilson's aspirations as an author were still being channeled into poetry; after an abortive effort to write a play for his theater, he set aside playwriting for almost a decade. He came home to drama almost by