The American Century Cycle Project is a unique collaboration between New York Public Radio, The Greene Space, and playwright August Wilson’s estate. For the first time ever, recordings of all 10 plays in Wilson’s Century Cycle are being presented by renowned actors in front of live audiences.

Portland Stage will live stream two of the plays — The Piano Lesson (Monday, Sept. 9) and Two Trains Running (Wednesday, Sept. 11) — for Portland audiences. Portland Stage is a regional partner in the collaboration and will be presenting these simulcasts in connection with its upcoming production of Wilson’s “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.”

Both simulcasts will be held in the Mainstage at the theater at 25A Forest Avenue, Portland, and are open to the public on a “Pay-What-You-Can” basis with a suggested donation of $5.

August Wilson is the most produced African-American playwright of all time. Wilson’s American Century Cycle consists of 10 plays portraying the 20th-century African-American experience from the early 1900s when wounds from slavery and the Civil War were still fresh, to the 1990s when even a large and increasingly influential black middle class could not escape persistent racial tensions.

The Cycle of plays won two Pulitzer prizes (1987 and 1990), and have been widely performed in regional theaters across the United States since their release. This fall, the Jerome L. Greene Space in New York will make history by creating for the first time exclusive recordings of all 10 American Century Cycle Plays.


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