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  • Writer's pictureLeigh Gerstenberger

Gem of the Ocean

August Wilson (April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) was an American playwright whose work included a series of ten plays, The Pittsburgh Cycle, for which he received two Pulitzer Prizes for Drama. Each work in the series is set in a different decade, and depicts comic and tragic aspects of the African-American experience in the 20th century.

Born and raised in Pittsburgh’s Hill District many of his plays draw on the rich history of growing up in the city’s urban center.

One of his works, Gem of the Ocean is currently being produced by the Pittsburgh Playwrights Theatre Company. What makes this performance particularly unique is that the production takes place outdoors at 1839 Wylie Ave., a vacant, inner city lot.

The address is the fictional, historic location of the main character, Aunt Ester’s home which is a place of refuge and healing for the community.

While not as well know as some of Wilson’s other works – Jitney; Fences; and The Piano Lesson; the setting in which Gem of the Ocean is performed and the play itself, gives the audience an opportunity to connect with this esteemed playwright and the city he loved in a most unique way.

Additional information on the show which runs through September 22, 2019 can be obtained via the following link:

For additional information on August Wilson here are two additional references:

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