Seven performances remain of How I Learned What I Learned
, the last play the Pittsburgh-born, Pulitzer-winning playwright completed before his untimely death, in 2005.
Photo courtesy of Pittsburgh Public Theater
Eugene Lee in "How I Learned What I Learned"
The Pittsburgh premiere of this one-man show
stars Eugene Lee as Wilson. It’s a fine companion piece to Wilson’s main body of work, the famed Pittsburgh Cycle chronicling the African-American experience, including Fences
, The Piano Lesson
All but one of the Cycle’s ten works is set in Pittsburgh. But Wilson’s own story is something we don’t really get in any of them, even the ones that take place in the 1940s through 1970s, the years he grew up and came of age in the Hill District, and the era he covers here.
Still, like his other plays, How I Learned
is valuable as an alternative narrative about those years. Wilson’s wry, occasionally hilarious stories of his determination to retain his dignity and develop as an artist in the face of ingrained racial prejudice in the churches, classrooms, streets and workplaces of Pittsburgh will echo the next time you think about local history, or see one of his other plays.
Also, before or after the performance, take a good look at David Gallo’s set: It’s a weathered wooden platform set in what looks like a bed of sawdust and wood scraps, but the detritus contains objects cleverly referencing Wilson’s other monumental plays.
Here’s Michelle Pilecki’s review
of the show for CP
How I Learned What I Learned
continues tonight through Sunday. Tickets are $15-56 and are available here
The O’Reilly Theater is located at 621 Penn Ave., Downtown.