Event Information

Lecture: “The Ground on Which He Stood – August Wilson and the Search for Black Identity”

David Cooper Photography 202-950 Powell St. Vancouver BC V6A1H9 604-255-4576

Photo: David Cooper

By Khalid Y. Long, ABD

“No one except perhaps Eugene O’Neill and Tennessee Williams has aimed so high and achieved so much in the American theater.”
-John Lahr, The New Yorker

About August Wilson

Born in 1945, August Wilson grew up in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, and his childhood experiences in this community would later inform his dramatic writings. In 1984 he was catapulted to the forefront of the American theatre scene with the success of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom. Over the next generation Wilson set for himself a daunting task – to write a ten-play cycle that chronicled each decade of the black experience in the 20th century, with each play focusing on what Wilson perceived as the largest issue to confront African-Americans during that time. By the early 1990s he had established himself as the best-known and most popular African-American playwright. Over his career Wilson earned a Tony Award, Olivier Award, two Pulitzer Prizes, five New Play Awards/Citations from the American Theatre Critics Association, seven New York Drama Critics Circle Awards, and an Emmy nomination.

About Khalid Yaya Long

Khalid Yaya Long is a doctoral candidate in Theatre and Performance Studies at the University of Maryland, College Park. Khalid’s research and creative works center on Black theatre history, drama, and performance; intersections of race, class, gender, and sexuality; dramaturgy; and directing and acting. Khalid holds a Bachelor of Arts in Theatre Arts from Cheyney University of Pennsylvania and a Master of Arts in Theatre Studies from Miami University, Oxford, Ohio. Khalid has presented his research at various conferences including the Association for Theatre in Higher Education, Black Theatre Network, Comparative Drama Conference, Association for the Study of African American Life & History, and Northeast Modern Language Association. Khalid published his article, “Mourning, Orature, and Memory: Cultural Performativity as Historiography in Pearl Cleage’s A Song for Coretta,” in the inaugural issue of Continuum: The Journal of African Diaspora Drama, Theatre and Performance. A scholar-artist, Khalid’s most recent dramaturgy credits include Intimate Apparel by Lynn Nottage; Octavia’s Brood: Riding the Ox by Meghan Abadoo; Sunset Baby by Dominique Morisseau; and Twilight: Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deavere Smith. Khalid’s most recent directing credits include for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf by Ntozake Shange; for black boys who have considered homicide/when the streets were too much by Keith Antar Mason; and Chupucabra by Paloma Mohamed. Khalid’s dissertation project traces the development of a Black feminist/womanist aesthetic through the life and works of Glenda Dickerson.
Oliver’s Carriage House
Thursday, February 4,  7:00-8:30pm
This is a FREE event, however registration is required to control capacity.


August Wilson Lecture
Oliver’s Carriage House
5410 Leaf Treador Way
Columbia, MD 21044