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“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That's all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other."”

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Michele Shay

Additional insight from Michele Shay - actress, director, educator, noted interpreter of the works of playwright August Wilson, and distinguished faculty member at USC School of Dramatic Arts. 

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“...by writing about black people,
you are not limiting yourself.
The experiences of African Americans
are as wide open as God’s closet.”

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August Wilson receives an Honorary Doctorate, 2004, Howard University Commencement

Our MISSION

The August Wilson Society (AWS) defines itself as an interdisciplinary learning community dedicated to promoting the studying, the teaching, the performing, the researching, and the ultimate safeguarding of the rich legacy that August Wilson has bequeathed to us in the form of 10 plays that chronicle the stories of African Americans from 1904 to 1997. AWS also considers its major objective to be keeping in the forefront for current and future generations a major writer and artist who dedicated his life and genius to chronicling and rendering into poetry and drama, the history, decade by decade, of African Americans in the twentieth century.

our events

The August Wilson Society combines scholarship and the love of theatre to present engaging biennial colloquia, standing-room-only  annual lectures, and speakers from among acclaimed Wilsonian actors and actresses.

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August Wilson's crowning achievement is The American Century Cycle, his series of ten plays that charts the African American experience throughout the twentieth century .

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