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August Wilson's 'Century Cycle' Is Complete

This article is more than 11 years old.
Huntington Theatre Company managing director, Michael Maso. (Frances Harlow/WBUR)
Huntington Theatre Company managing director, Michael Maso. (Frances Harlow/WBUR)

By proclamation of Mayor Thomas Menino, Wednesday is "August Wilson Day" in Boston. Wilson, the Pittsburgh-born playwright who died in 2005, is best known for his ten-play "Century Cycle," which portrays the experiences of black Americans through each decade of the 20th century.  Wilson won Pulitzer Prizes for his plays "Fences" (1985) and "The Piano Lesson" (1990.)

In 1986, Wilson began a long association with Boston's Huntington Theatre Company, and tonight the Huntington completes its production of Wilson's entire "Century Cycle" with the opening of Wilson's 1982 play, "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom."

This year, the Huntington Theatre Company marks another milestone: the 30th season for managing director Michael Maso.  WBUR visited Maso in his office to talk about his three decades at the helm of the Huntington, and about working with August Wilson.
"It was a joy," said Maso.  "Sitting around with August Wilson was like so many of those scenes in these plays where you see three or four men trading stories and ragging on each other and making each other laugh in this almost ritualistic banter.  And that came through every conversation you had with August Wilson."
The Huntington Theatre Company's production of "Ma Rainey's Black Bottom" runs through April 8th at the Boston University Theatre.

This program aired on March 14, 2012.

Bob Oakes Senior Correspondent
Bob Oakes was a senior correspondent in the WBUR newsroom, a role he took on in 2021 after nearly three decades hosting WBUR's Morning Edition.



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