WSU Humanities Center to explore works of playwright August Wilson

October 24, 2017

The Wayne State University Humanities Center will host its latest “Brown Bag” lecture at 12:30 p.m. Tuesday, Oct. 24, with a conversation focused on the works of legendary playwright August Wilson.

The dialogue, led by WSU Assistant Theatre Professor Billicia Hines, will examine the power, language and characters that inform Wilson’s storytelling. The event will also include performances of select scenes by M.F.A. students from the Freedom Players.

“Most theatre programs primarily focus on theatre through the lens of the Eurocentric Aesthetic,” said Hines, director of Wayne State’s Black Theatre Program. “When that happens, it makes any theatre of color seem like an add-on. Exploring August Wilson's stylized language is just as important as exploring Shakespeare. We need to broaden the lens.

“This presentation is the beginning of many projects where I will be exploring the performative aspects of the black aesthetic. I chose August Wilson because he is one of the most significant playwrights in the world. In addition, I hope to continue using his work with actors when exploring style.”

The hour-long lecture is the most recent in a lengthy series of “Brown Bag” lectures that kicked off at the start of the fall semester and will continue to mid-April. Lectures focus on a range of topics, from the arts to politics, with the aim of fostering conversations around ideas relevant to current events, research and other intellectual pursuits.

Upcoming lectures include dialogues on the subject of at-risk students, the white working class in relation to Donald Trump, ‘50s pop music in the context of civil-rights movements and the Flint water crisis.

The event will take place in the Hilberry Rehearsal Room at Old Main. All lectures are free and open to the public.

For more information, call 313-577-5471 or visit