Funeral Services for August Wilson Held on Oct. 8 in Pittsburgh

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Funeral services for the late August Wilson, who died of liver cancer on October 2nd at the age of 60, will be held on October 8th in Pittsburgh, his native city in which he also set many of his plays. They will occur at the Soldiers & Sailors National Museum & Memorial (Fifth Avenue, Oakland) at noon.

The viewing will take place at White Memorial Chapel (7204 Thomas Blvd., Point Breeze) on Friday, October 7th from 11 AM to 6 PM; Dwight Andrews will officiate.

Funeral services for Wilson, who was a Seattle resident at the time of his death, will be held in that city before the Pittsburgh ones.


Wilson is best-known for his epic ten-play chronicle of the African-American experience; each play covered a decade in the twentieth century. In order of production (the first was in 1984 and the last this year), they are: Jitney, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, King Hedley II, Gem of the Ocean and Radio Golf.  The latter has not yet opened on Broadway, but recently concluded a run at the Center Theatre Group's Mark Taper Forum.  

Wilson received a Tony Award for Fences (all the plays were nominated but for Jitney, which wasn't produced on Broadway), as well as two Pulitzer Prizes for Fences and The Piano Lesson. He is the subject of an upcoming retrospective celebration at New York's Signature Theatre Company. Beginning in fall 2006 with a staging of Two Trains Running, it will run through 2007 (it was pushed back from 2005-2006). Wilson was also to have been seen in a one-man show entitled How I Learned What I Learned, which he first performed elsewhere in 2003, at the theatre. On October 17th, The Virginia Theatre will be renamed after Wilson.

Wilson's family has asked that donations be made in lieu of flowers: to
Richard Hugo House, 1634 11th Ave., Seattle, WA 98122; The Playwrights' Center, 2301 Franklin Ave. East, Minneapolis, MN 55406-1099; Congo Square Theatre, 2936 N. Southport Ave., Suite 210, Chicago, IL 60657; or Cave Canem, 584 Broadway, Suite 508, New York, NY 10012.


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