(BOSTON) – The Huntington Theatre Company will present the powerful memoir August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned, co-conceived and directed by Todd Kreidler (Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner adapter at the Huntington) and featuring Eugene Lee (Radio Golf, Gem of the Ocean, and The Piano Lesson at the Huntington), both longtime Wilson collaborators. Performances begin Saturday, March 5 and continue through April 3, 2016 in the BU Theatre / Avenue of the Arts. 

In this solo show, the late Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson shares stories about his first few jobs, a stint in jail, his lifelong friends, and his encounters with racism, music, and love as a young poet in Pittsburgh’s Hill District. This theatrical memoir charts one man’s journey of self-discovery through adversity, and what it means to be a black artist in America. The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review says August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned is, “Lively and funny! A thought-provoking, entertaining vehicle to honor Wilson’s life and extend his legacy into the future,” and The Pittsburgh Post-Gazette says the show is, “A crowd-pleasing 100 minutes.”

“Many of August Wilson’s closest collaborators have talked about the Huntington – a theatre involved in the premiere productions of eight of his plays – as a place they feel his spirit as an artist,” says Huntington Artistic Director Peter DuBois. “His brilliant theatrical memoir gives us all a chance to experience August’s intelligence, humor, and incredible insight again.”

The Huntington had a special relationship with August Wilson and his work, beginning in 1986 with a production of Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, his third play in the Century Cycle. For 25 years, the Huntington served as an artistic home to Wilson, developing and premiering eight of the ten plays of his Century Cycle before they went on to Broadway. The Huntington completed Wilson’s Century Cycle in 2012 with Wilson’s first Broadway hit, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom.

The impact of Wilson’s works has made a lasting mark on American theatre, and it has opened doors to conversations about the black experience in the United States. August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned is an all-encompassing look at the man behind the revered Century Cycle. It is Wilson’s last theatrical work created with long-time collaborator and friend, Todd Kreidler.

How I Learned What I Learned is supported by Huntington Season Sponsors Carol G. Deane and J. David Wimberly.


Eugene Lee (August Wilson) previously appeared at the Huntington in Gem of the Ocean, Radio Golf, and The Piano Lesson. He also appeared on Broadway in Gem of the Ocean. His Off Broadway credits include A Soldier’s Play (original cast), Home, Manhattan Made Me, Nightline, Eyes of the American, The Redeemer, and Back To Back. Mr. Lee’s regional credits include Stop. Reset; How I Learned What I Learned; Miss Ever’s Boys; Fences; Lewis and Clark Reach the Euphrates; Split Second; Every Tongue Confess; Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner; Kennedy Center Presents August Wilson’s Century Cycle; Ceremonies in Dark Old Men; The Piano Lesson; Two Trains Running; Jitney; Joe Turner’s Come and Gone; and Radio Golf. Film and television credits include Wolf, Coach Carter, An American Dream, God Of Carnage, The Book Of Grace, Eden, One Monkey Don’t Stop No Show, The Tell-Tale Heart, “Lying Game,” “American Crime,” “The White Shadow,” “Good Times,” “NYPD Blue,” “Guiding Light,” “The Women Of Brewster Place,” “The Jacksons,” “The District,” and “Gospel At Colonus.” Mr. Lee has written several plays, including Killingsworth, East Texas Hot Links, Fear Itself, Twist, Somebody Called (a tale of two preachers), and Lyin’ Ass. Television writing credits include “Homicide: Life on the Streets,” “Turks,” “The Journey of Alan Strange,” “Port Chicago,” and “Walker Texas Ranger.” Mr. Lee is artist-in-residence in the Department of Theatre and Dance at Texas State University and serves as artistic director for the Texas State Black and Latino Playwrights Conference.

August Wilson (Playwright) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African Americans decade-by-decade over the course of the 20th century. Mr. Wilson's plays have been produced at regional theatres across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson's works garnered many awards, including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987) and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain's Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as eight New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey's Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner's Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, Jitney, and Radio Golf. The cast recording of Ma Rainey's Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award. Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. His early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming, and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills. Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwriting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, a 1999 National Humanities Medal awarded by the President of the United States, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway named the theatre located at 245 West 52nd Street the August Wilson Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2007. Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. 

Todd Kreidler (Co-conceiver and Director) served as dramaturg for August Wilson’s Radio Golf and Gem of the Ocean in their early productions at the Huntington, at other regional theatres, and on Broadway. His adaptation of Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner appeared at the Huntington in fall of the 2014-2015 season. He wrote the Broadway musical Holler If Ya Hear Me, an original story featuring the lyrics of Tupac Shakur, and is writing a musical with Nikki Sixx, based on Sixx’s memoir and music The Heroin Diaries. His stage adaptation of the film Guess Who’s Coming to Dinner ran at Arena Stage in Washington, DC and premiered at True Colors Theatre Company in Atlanta. Most recently, he directed How I Learned What I Learned at Off Broadway’s Signature Theatre and at Pittsburgh Public Theater. He originally co-conceived and directed the piece with Mr. Wilson performing at Seattle Repertory Theatre in 2003. He co-founded the August Wilson Monologue Competition, a national program aimed at integrating August Wilson’s work into high school curriculum, of which the Huntington facilitates the Boston competition.

August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned features scenic design and projection design by David Gallo (Gem of the Ocean, King Hedley II, Jitney, and Radio Golf at the Huntington); costume design by Constanza Romero (The Mountaintop and Gem of the Ocean on Broadway); lighting design by Thom Weaver (The Liquid Plain and How I Learned What I Learned at the Signature Theatre Company); and sound design by Dan Moses Schreier (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder on Broadway). Production stage manager is Carola Morrone LaCoste and stage manager is Jeremiah Mullane.


Recipient of the 2013 Regional Theatre Tony Award and named Best of Boston 2013 and 2014 by Boston magazine, the Huntington Theatre Company has developed into Boston’s leading professional theatre and one of the region’s premier cultural assets since its founding in 1982. Bringing together superb local and national talent, the Huntington produces a mix of groundbreaking new works and classics made current to create award-winning productions, runs nationally renowned programs in education and new play development, and serves the local theatre community through its operation of the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA. Under the direction of Artistic Director Peter DuBois and Managing Director Michael Maso and in residence at Boston University, the Huntington cultivates, celebrates, and champions theatre as an art form. For more information, visit


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How I Learned What I Learned calendar

March 5 – April 3, 2016
               Select Evenings: Tues. – Thurs. at 7:30pm; Fri. – Sat. at 8pm; select Sun. at 7pm
              Matinees: Select Wed., Sat., and Sun. at 2pm
              Days and times vary; see complete schedule below.
Press Opening: Wednesday, March 9, 7pm. RSVP online.

Avenue of the Arts / BU Theatre, 264 Huntington Avenue, Boston

Single tickets starting at $25 and FlexPasses are on sale:

  • online at;
  • by phone at 617 266 0800; or
  • in person at the BU Theatre Box Office, 264 Huntington Ave. and the Calderwood Pavilion at the BCA Box Office, 527 Tremont St. in Boston’s South End.

 Select discounts apply:

  • $5 off: seniors
  • $10 off: subscribers and BU community (faculty/staff/alumni)
  • $30 “35 Below” tickets for patrons 35 years old and younger (valid ID required)
  • $20 student and military tickets (valid ID required)


Thursday, March 10 before the 7:30pm performance
A pre-show reception with refreshments for members of the Community Membership program. Community Membership is an initiative designed to reduce the cost barrier of attending live theatre for those with limited income and to diversify the Huntington’s audience so it looks more like the city of Boston. Members can purchase best-available tickets to any performance without restriction for just $20. Membership is free and available through partnerships with agencies and organizations that serve limited-income populations.

Friday, March 11 at 10am (student matinee)
Thursday, March 31 at 10am (student matinee)
Friday, April 1 at 8pm
The Huntington Theatre Company offers ASL interpretation for the Deaf and hard-of-hearing at designated performances. Seating for each ASL-interpreted performance is located in the orchestra, house left. Tickets are $20 for each Deaf patron and an additional $20 ticket can be purchased for a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at

Friday, March 11 at 10am (student matinee)
Saturday, April 2 at 2pm
The Huntington Theatre Company offers audio description for blind and low-vision patrons at designated performances. Tickets are $20 for each patron and a guest. To reserve tickets, please contact Access Coordinator Meg O’Brien at

Friday, March 11 at 10am
Thursday, March 31 at 10am
For students in grades 9–12. Tickets: $15. Includes pre-show in-school visit, curriculum guide, post-show Actors Forum, and Dramatic Returns card for each student. Call 617 273 1558 for more information.

Friday, March 11 after the 10am performance (student matinee)
Thursday, March 17 after the 7:30pm performance
Wednesday, March 23 after the 2pm performance
Thursday, March 31 after the 10am performance (student matinee)
Meet the cast of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned and ask Eugene Lee your questions at the Actors Forum, following the performance.

Sunday, March 13 after the 2pm performance
Explore the context and significance of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned with a leading expert following the 2pm performance on March 13. 

Monday, March 14 at 7pm
Killer of Sheep examines the black Los Angeles ghetto of Watts in the mid-1970s through the eyes of Stan, a sensitive dreamer who is growing detached and numb from the psychic toll of working at a slaughterhouse. Join us for a conversation after the film with a special guest from the Huntington’s production of August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned.

Part of the Stage & Screen series, a collaboration between the Huntington Theatre Company and the Coolidge Corner Theatre. Tickets available at

Saturday, March 19 after the 2pm performance
Boston Globe columnist Adrian Walker will lead a post-show talkback about August Wilson’s legacy. Tickets to the March 19 performance are $45 for Boston Globe subscribers who use the discount code BGEVENT.

Adrian Walker is a columnist for the Boston Globe Metro section. He provides commentary and opinion on local and regional news as well as society and culture. Mr. Walker started as a Metro columnist in 1998. His column appears Mondays and Fridays.

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