August Wilson is one of the late 20th-century’s best playwrights. He was a Seattle resident for the latter part of his life. But are his plays performed in Tacoma? Not much.
Which is why three local arts groups are partnering to present readings of Wilson’s 10-play “Pittsburgh Cycle” over the next five years: two plays per year. The first one, “Gem of the Ocean,” is on Saturday night.
“He’s arguably the finest American playwright in the last 50 years,” says Bryan Willis of the Northwest Playwrights Alliance. The NPA is part of the Wilson series partnership: They supply directors and actors, the Washington State History Museum is supplying the theater, and the Broadway Center for Performing Arts is handling marketing and contributing financially to ensure everyone gets paid. The cycle is also produced in special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc. It’s a great thing for Tacoma, Willis says.