LENOX, Mass. – In tandem with its production of August Wilson’s Fences, Shakespeare & Company will host a book signing, pre-show reception, and post-show talkback with Patti Hartigan, author of the forthcoming biography AUGUST WILSON: A Life, on Saturday, August 12, beginning at 12:30 p.m.

By special arrangement with the author, publisher Simon & Schuster, and Lenox’s own The Bookstore, copies of the book will be available for purchase and signing three days in advance of its public release. Patrons will have the opportunity to meet Hartigan and have their books signed at the free signing and reception, as well as to purchase tickets for the 2 p.m. matinee and talkback.

AUGUST WILSON: A Life is the first authoritative biography of August Wilson, the most important and successful American playwright of the late 20th century, by a theater critic who knew him. Hartigan is an award-winning theater critic and arts reporter who spent many years on the staff of The Boston Globe. Early in her career as a theater critic for The Boston Globe she met Wilson at the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center and would interview him several times over the course of two decades until his death in 2005, just after his sixtieth birthday. 

AUGUST WILSON: A Life emerges from extensive research and interviews with friends, collaborators, actors, and family members. Hartigan’s original research challenges longtime assertions made by Wilson about his family’s history and reveals the toll of success on his personal life. AUGUST WILSON: A Life offers a full and overdue portrait of a complicated man’s utter devotion to his art and the people around him.

The book has been called “an exquisitely researched biography fully equal to its legendary subject” by Charles Johnson, MacArthur Fellow and National Book Award-winning author of Middle Passage, and “a must read for students of theater and African American literature” by Henry Louis Gates, Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor, Harvard University.

A moving study of emotional depth and the human condition, August Wilson’s Fences follows the story of Troy Maxson – a working-class Black man struggling to provide for his family. His past includes the low of a prison sentence and the high of a promising career with the Negro Baseball League, but it’s Troy’s unrealized dream to play for Major League Baseball that fills his days with resentment and regret. Winner of both the Pulitzer Prize for Drama and Tony Award for Best Play in 1987, Shakespeare & Company’s production, running from Saturday, July 22 through Sunday, August 27 is directed by Christopher V. Edwards, and features Ella Joyce, “ranney”, Brian D. Coats, L. James, Jāquan Malik Jones, Ashley McCauley Moore, and Kenneth Ransom. 

Tickets range from $22 (students) to $77, and are available at shakespeare.org, or by calling the Box Office at (413) 637-3353. This production is sponsored by Natalie and Howard Shawn.

About Shakespeare & Company

Shakespeare & Company was founded in 1978 by Tina Packer. Located in the Berkshires of Massachusetts, the Company offers performance, education, and actor-training opportunities year-round, and attracts more than 40,000 patrons annually with a core of more than 150 artists.

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