August Wilson Archive

August Wilson Archive


2 illustrations of costume designs and an album cover of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom

August Wilson Archive Exhibit

Materials on display in this exhibit will rotate periodically while the August Wilson Archive is being processed by Archives & Special Collections staff.

Currently we are highlighting materials relating to Wilson’s Seven Guitars, whose Broadway casts have included Keith David, Viola Davis, and other luminaries of stage and screen. Previous exhibits showcased materials relating to Wilson’s first play to appear on Broadway, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

This exhibit can be viewed on the third floor of Hillman Library near Archives & Special Collections during open hours.

A Writer’s Landscape Exhibition

Permanent Exhibit

August Wilson: A Writer’s Landscape Logo

The August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) in Downtown, Pittsburgh created a 3,600 square foot permanent exhibition that explores the people and places of Pittsburgh, where August Wilson was born and raised, and which had a profound impact on shaping his worldview and inspiring his unprecedented 10-play American Century Cycle.

Presented in three sections, or acts, A Writer’s Landscape showcases the universal themes the prolific playwright tackled and the enduring relevance of his work through artifacts from Wilson’s life and notable productions of his work; elements that invite patrons to address the issues of race, representation, family, and community; and interactive digital components that showcase each play in the cycle and where Wilson’s works are being presented around the world today. 

The City of Pittsburgh Celebrating Black History Month with Highlights from the August Wilson Archive

Exhibit on Display from February 1 - 28, 2023

Black History Month: The August Wilson Archive, February 2023

In February, the City of Pittsburgh will celebrate Black History Month by showcasing the life and works of American playwright and Pittsburgh native son August Wilson, who won acclaim from literary and theater critics for his plays that portray the African American experience in the twentieth century.

Working in partnership with the University of Pittsburgh Library System – which has acquired Wilson’s archive– the City of Pittsburgh Office of Special Events will present “Highlights from the August Wilson Archive” to spotlight Wilson’s life.

A month-long display in the City-County Building’s grand lobby (414 Grant St) will feature a variety of photographs, playbills, handwritten notes, play materials, other memorabilia, and an interactive activity. Online content from February 1 - 28 will feature a series of interviews with individuals who knew the playwright personally and professionally, photographs, and highlights of memorabilia on display downtown.

Press Release

Giving Voice

On Netflix

Executive produced by Viola Davis and John Legend, "Giving Voice" follows students in the annual August Wilson Monologue Competition inspired by the late playwright.

Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom

On Netflix

Chicago, 1927. A recording session. Tensions rise between Ma Rainey (Viola Davis), her ambitious horn player (Chadwick Boseman) and the white management determined to control the uncontrollable “Mother of the Blues.” Based on Pulitzer Prize winner August Wilson's play.