Sunday, April 29, 2007




Each location on the map marked by a theater mask ( ) indicates the approximate location for an August Wilson play. Click on the mask to see the title and more information about that play, and to hear a passage from the play.


The most important landmark for August Wilson is his childhood home. His original family name was Kittel and the Kittels lived in rented space at the rear of 1727 Bedford. In front was Bella’s Market, run by the Sigers, eastern European Jews, and next door was the watch and shoe repair shop of the Italian Butera brothers, making the two houses a microcosm of the early mid-century multi-ethnic Hill. The backyard is now overgrown and the house dilapidated, with plans for restoration as an artists' center.

Wilson got his first library card at age 5 from the Hill District Carnegie Library. The New Granada (and Savoy Ballroom and Pythian Temple, all connected) hosted regular big band appearances in the 1950s as well as the Black Power rally described in “Two Trains Running.”

The original Crawford Grill, as with many Hill businesses, started out in the Lower Hill area which was torn down in 1956.

Eddie’s Diner was torn down in fall, 2006, and although Lutz’ Meat Market came to an end right after the 1968 riots, its building still stands with "Lutz" engraved at the top. The West Funeral Home on Wylie opened in 1970, right near its previous home on Centre. It's unclear which location Wilson had in mind for a play set in 1969.

The A. Leo Weil School is important because Wilson and friends started the Black Horizon Theatre, which performed there.

The short excerpts from the 10 plays are read by actors Vanessa German, left, and Wali Jamal and produced by Christopher Rawson and David Bear. The texts used are from Plume paperback editions, except for "Radio Golf," which is from the November 2005 American Theatre version; it may differ from the Broadway script.

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