This Day in Black History: Aug. 12, 1990

Playwright August Wilson won a Pulitzer Prize for his play The Piano Lesson.

Posted: 08/12/2012 07:00 AM EDT
August Wilson

(Photo: Bruce Glikas/Getty Images)

American playwright August Wilson won a Pulitizer Prize for his play The Piano Lesson on Aug. 12, 1990. The award-winning play was one of the ten created during Wilson’s famous 10-play series “Pittsburgh Cycle” to sketch the Black experience in the 20th century.

 

Set in Pittsburgh during 1936, in the wake of the Great Depression, The Piano Lesson centers on the story of a brother-sister pair whose inheritance of an ornate piano ultimately leads to questions of family, legacy and self-worth.

 

Wilson’s play also won the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding New Play and the New York Drama Critics Circle Award for Best Play. Prior to his Piano wins, Wilson had already won his first Pulitzer Prize in 1987 for the widely acclaimed Fences, which also garnered a Tony award.  

 

 

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