The August Wilson Celebration

In honor of the late playwright and his frequent collaborations with the Goodman, the theater will lead a citywide retrospective of his life and work.


Featuring a revival of Wilson’s masterpiece Two Trains Running and concert readings of his nine other “20th Century Cycle” plays, this unprecedented exploration of Wilson’s work includes educational seminars, panel discussions and other special events. Presented in collaboration with over 20 theaters, universities and organizations across Chicago, the Celebration is curated by the Goodman’s Resident Director Chuck Smith and runs March 7 through April 19.

Concert readings and most special events are FREE. Select an event below to learn more about reserving tickets.

Concert Readings    Panel Discussions    Special Events    Full Calendar    Ticket Info    Explore Archive Video Tributes


Two Trains Running

March 7 - April 19, 2015

Directed by Chuck Smith

Goodman Theatre honors August Wilson’s legacy with his Tony-winning masterpiece, praised by Variety as “perfection…[a] work by a writer at the peak of his powers.”

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Concert Readings | Select Event Below for Tickets

Fences | Tuesday, March 17

The optimism of the 1950s collides with social reality in Wilson’s complicated exploration of family. As disillusioned trash collector Troy […]

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Ma Rainey's Black Bottom | Saturday, March 21

The Roaring Twenties have made “Mother of the Blues” Ma Rainey a star, attracting the young and ambitious trumpeter Levee […]

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Seven Guitars | SOLD OUT | Tuesday, March 24

Friends and family recall the hopeful future that lay in store for rising blues star Floyd “Schoolboy” Barton. Flawed plans […]

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Joe Turner's Come and Gone | SOLD OUT | Saturday, March 28

Wilson dramatizes the plight of African Americans during the Great Migration in Joe Turner’s Come and Gone. Seth and Bertha […]

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Gem of the Ocean | SOLD OUT | Tuesday, March 31

August Wilson’s epic “20th Century Cycle” begins with his drama Gem of the Ocean. Set in 1904, the play introduces […]

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The Piano Lesson | SOLD OUT | Saturday, April 4

Wilson’s Depression-era drama pits Boy Willie against his sister, Berniece, when he appears at her Hill District home with plans […]

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Radio Golf | SOLD OUT | Monday, April 6

Steeped in the spirits and dreams of the past, Radio Golf tells the story of Harmond Wilks, an ambitious real […]

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Jitney | SOLD OUT | Tuesday, April 14

August Wilson’s first play, demonstrating his gift for capturing the rhythms and power of language, Jitney provides a window into […]

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King Hedley II | Saturday, April 18

The eighth play in Wilson’s “20th Century Cycle,” King Hedley II paints a vivid, almost operatic portrait of a neighborhood […]

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Panel Discussions | Select Event Below for Tickets

August Wilson in Chicago | Monday, March 9

Local artists and scholars – including Goodman Resident Director Chuck Smith, actor/director Ron OJ Parson, director Derrick Sanders and Northwestern […]

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The Women of August Wilson | Sunday, March 22

NYU professor and Broadway actress Michele Shay joins other notable actresses who have performed August Wilson’s plays in a conversation […]

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August Wilson at Yale | Monday, March 23

Constanza Romero, costumer designer and widow of August Wilson, leads a conversation between theater artists and scholars about the remarkable […]

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August Wilson in St. Paul, MN | SOLD OUT | Tuesday, April 7

Before beginning work on his “20th Century Cycle” and establishing himself as one of the United States’ leading writers, Wilson […]

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August Wilson in New York | SOLD OUT | Sunday, April 12

Woodie King, Jr., founder of the New Federal Theatre and friend and colleague of August Wilson, has produced and championed […]

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Black Theater in America | Monday, April 13

Theater directors from across the United States discuss the history, achievements and challenges facing the African American theater community. PANELISTS […]

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Special Events | Select Event Below for Tickets

August Wilson Monologue Competition—Chicago Finals | Tuesday, March 10

High school students compete for a chance to represent Chicago in the national finals of the August Wilson Monologue Competition. […]

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Two Trains and a Sidecar | Wednesday, March 11

Hop aboard and let the Goodman Theatre Scenemakers Board take you back in time at Two Trains and a Sidecar! […]

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Artist Encounter: Two Trains Running | Sunday, March 15

Artist Encounters bring together audiences and the artists who create the work on our stages in an intimate environment, for […]

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August Wilson: From Poet to Playwright | Wednesday, March 25

The rarely heard, unpublished poetry of August Wilson receives a theatrical presentation by Universes, a nationally acclaimed performance ensemble from […]

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Reading Series: How I Learned What I Learned | SOLD OUT | Monday, March 30

In 2003, August Wilson wrote and performed this autobiographical one-man show, revealing intimate details from his life and how his […]

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Teaching August Wilson | Saturday, April 25

August Wilson is considered one of America’s greatest playwrights, yet his plays are rarely taught in schools. Dr. Sandra Shannon, […]

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