Let’s Talk About Parks: August Wilson Park

AUG 22, 2017

Pittsburgh Post-Gazette


“All you need in the world is love and laughter. That’s all anybody needs. To have love in one hand and laughter in the other.” Those words resonate as much today as when they were said by August Wilson nearly two decades ago. As a true inspiration he helped create Pittsburgh’s legacy. It was just last August that the Pittsburgh Parks Conservancy was honored to dedicate a park to him. A park that stands as a shining example of what can be done when a community comes together.

August Wilson’s words live on in his namesake park, which is just around the block from his childhood home. Born and raised in the Hill District, Mr. Wilson wrote about his experiences in his beloved neighborhood. One of his best known plays is “Fences,” which was recently made into a film directed by and starring Denzel Washington. It garnered Mr. Wilson a posthumous Oscar nomination. However, it is Mr. Wilson’s Pittsburgh Cycle, which highlights the Hill District to its core with nine in a series of 10 plays set in the community. The plays are each set in a different decade and aim to sketch the African-American experience in the 20th century, and as Mr. Wilson said, “raise consciousness through theater.” August Wilson saw the power in theater as a medium where a community could come together. There is power in parks, too, for just that same reason... Read the full article.