August Wilson’s 1900s to Be a Cycle Onstage





Cal Hoffman will be spending his vacation at the theater.

Mr. Hoffman, who lives in New York, plans to visit Washington for the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts’ presentation of August Wilson’s 20th Century, a full month of staged readings of Wilson’s 10-play cycle chronicling the lives of African-Americans in the last century, a play for each decade.

“The stories are so specific, you can’t help but get emotionally involved within the first 5 to 10 minutes of an August Wilson play,” said Mr. Hoffman, who plans to attend all 10. “When I go, I feel a real immediacy with the characters and the events and the ideas that get put forward.”

The staging of all the plays at once — it runs March 4 through April 6 — is a first, organizers said. Michael Kaiser, the president of the Kennedy Center, said that even before Wilson died of liver cancer in 2005, there had been a discussion about presenting the plays as a whole. “These are 10 spectacular works,” he said.



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