Insider’s Guide: August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape

Insider’s Guide: August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape

Explore the August Wilson African American Cultural Center's first permanent exhibition dedicated to the life and legacy of Pittsburgh’s favorite playwright

Get a glimpse inside the life and works of August Wilson, the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright at the permanent exhibit dedicated to his extraordinary essence. August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape is a 3,600-square-foot permanent exhibition located in the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC), conveniently located in the Culutral District of Downtown Pittsburgh. 

About the Exhibition

August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape takes a deep dive into Wilson’s life, including a window into Pittsburgh’s Hill District, where he was born and raised, the influential people he interacted with throughout his life and, of course, his award-winning work. The exhibition showcases the universal themes the prolific playwright tackled and the continued relevance of his work such as issues of race, representation, family and community.

The exhibition is presented in story-form and includes the following sections:

  • The Coffee Shop
    Inspired by a local eatery in the Hill District, where a young Wilson frequently went to observe the day-to-day interactions of its diners. He scrawled notes on napkins, which subsequently provided the basis for many of his characters and the inspiration for his storytelling.
  • The Office
    A replica of Wilson’s home office that showcases his working environment and items that he prized, including his writing desk, manuscripts, books and records from his collection, generously donated by the Wilson Estate.
  • The Street
    A recreation of Pittsburgh’s Hill District over the span of Wilson’s life, featuring an interactive map of the neighborhood exploring how it has evolved through the years. Utilizing video, props and costumes from notable Broadway productions of his work, this section provides insight into major themes from each play in the American Century Cycle. Highlighting the universality of his plays, this section also shows all current and scheduled productions of his plays across the globe. Additionally, visitors are invited to share how Wilson serves as a creative inspiration to them, highlighting how the issues and people he wrote about more than four decades ago continue to be timeless and relevant today.

August Wilson: The Writer’s Landscape is open daily and free of charge but requires timed ticketing to enter.

About August Wilson

August Wilson is a famed playwright born and raised in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. The two-time, Pulitzer Prize-winning, critically acclaimed playwright was a leading writer of the 20th century. A few of his popular plays included ‘Ma Rainey's Black Bottom’, ‘Fences’ and ‘The Piano Lesson,’ all of which are part of his 10-play collection titled, ‘The Pittsburgh Cycle.’

About the August Wilson African American Cultural Center

Named for the Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson, the August Wilson African American Cultural Center (AWAACC) is a multi-purpose venue featuring three art galleries, live performance spaces, meeting areas and unique educational classrooms for the young and old alike. Designed by renowned architect Allison Williams, the AWAACC is both a visually iconic landmark welcoming visitors to the eastern entrance of the Cultural District and a beacon of cultural excellence for the global arts community.