- The Washington Times - Monday, October 3, 2005

August Wilson’s 10-play cycle of 20th-century black American life:

Gem of the Ocean: A play focusing on Aunt Ester, a 280-year-old former slave, and the price of freedom.

1910s — Joe Turner’s Come and Gone: This ensemble piece set in a Pittsburgh boardinghouse depicts a man searching for the wife who deserted him.

1920s — Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom : Legendary blues singer Ma Rainey cuts a record in a white-run Chicago recording studio.

1930s — The Piano Lesson: A sister and brother fight over a precious — and magical — heirloom.

1940s — Seven Guitars: A confidence man and blues guitarist’s life is assessed after his murder.

1950s — Fences: This domestic drama involves a bitter and washed-up baseball player for the Negro Leagues and his relationship with his son.

1960s — Two Trains Running: A failure to keep up with the changing times fuels this drama, set in a coffee shop.

1970s — Jitney: A fiery father-son confrontation takes place amid the characters congregating in a gypsy cab station.

1980s — King Hedley II: An ex-con strains to support his family in this epic tragedy.

1990s — Radio Golf: Real estate developers plan on the razing and gentrification of Pittsburgh’s Hill District community.

— Jayne Blanchard

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