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Four Play Aunt Ester Cycle Planned for August Wilson Center in Pittsburgh logo
Rendering Courtesy of August Wilson Center
for African American Culture
The August Wilson Center for African American Culture in Pittsburgh will hold its opening ceremony on September 17. Then, in November, the Center, according to a report in the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, will host an ambitious tribute to the playwright for whom the facility is named: an "Aunt Ester" cycle that will present four works from Wilson's cycle of plays that examine the African American experience through each decade of the 20th century.

Aunt Ester figures prominently in many of Wilson's plays, although she appears in only one: Gem of the Ocean. This work will be included in the "Ester" cycle in Pittsburgh, presented by the Black Rep of St. Louis in a production directed by the company's founder and producing director, Rob Hines, and starring Linda Kennedy.

The other companies and productions participating are the Penumbra Theatre Company from St. Paul, MN, which will present Radio Golf, the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company production of Two Trains Running and The Women of the Hill, an original performance created partly in Pittsburgh's historic Hill District by theatrical innovator Ping Chong. The two-week event also includes two symposia: The Legend of Aunt Ester and reConstructing King Hedley II.

The August Wilson Center is a two-story, 65,000-square-foot, multidisciplinary cultural center intended to be reflective of all aspects of African American culture and houses exhibition galleries, a theater, an education center, a café and gift shop, and multipurpose spaces for community programs and events.

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