The legacy of late, Tony-winning playwright August Wilson was celebrated October 19 at Boston's Huntington Theatre with a dedication ceremony naming the lobby of the renovated theatre after the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner.
The ceremony, which took place on the Huntington stage prior to the opening night performance of Wilson’s Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, featured Boston Mayor Michelle Wu, Huntington Managing Director Michael Maso, Huntington Artistic Director Loretta Greco, and costume designer Constanza Romero Wilson, the playwright's widow and executor of his estate.
Maso and Romero Wilson unveiled the plaque, designating the space as the August Wilson Lobby. Following the performance, the plaque was placed in the lobby. It reads as follows:
August Wilson (1945 – 2005) is the two-time Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright and visionary author of the American Century Cycle chronicling the African American experience in the 20th century, which changed the face of the American theatre. Between 1986 and 2005, August worked in residence at The Huntington bringing seven of those seminal plays to life. In honor of his enormous personal contribution to and deep appreciation for The Huntington, we hereby dedicate this space as the August Wilson Lobby.
“Just as we are reopening our theatre, we are also renewing our creative relationship with August Wilson, the single most impactful and transformative artist in Huntington history,” Managing Director Maso said.
“This is a historic, one-of-a-kind space, the first civic playhouse in the country to be established and supported generation after generation through partnerships and community,” added Mayor Wu. “The walls of this building have seen so much change outside in the world, but even more striking are the types of worlds that have been created within the walls of this building and that we will continue to see stay right here on Huntington Ave.”
“August Wilson changed the face of American theatre,” stated Artistic Director Loretta Greco, praising Wilson for inspiring and paving the way for a generation of Black playwrights. “When he began conjuring his American Century Cycle in 1982, there was nothing like it and generations of creative fires were ignited. In a hundred years, people will still gather together communally, to seek inspiration and truth through the trials and the majesty of every-day life within these extraordinary plays.”
“I can’t imagine a place where August’s presence is more felt than these theatres where he started and he developed his beautiful work,” said Romero Wilson, August Wilson’s
widow and the executor of his estate. “I also congratulate you all for
this beautiful, renovated theatre. It is a gift to have uncovered and
rediscovered the beauty of this place.”
Mr. Wilson is currently represented on Broadway with the first Main Stem revival of The Piano Lesson.
Check out photos from the dedication ceremony below: