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Michigan State University

The Acting Company: Two Trains Running

Wharton Center for Performing Arts

March 22, 2025

Performing Arts

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Acclaimed playwright of Fences, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom and so much more, August Wilson’s Two Trains Running is the seventh installment of his trailblazing 10-part Century Cycle, or Pittsburgh Cycle.

In this masterpiece, history unfolds around everyday lives against the backdrop of the civil rights movement. Long-time regulars gather at the local diner in Pittsburgh’s Hill District to gossip, flirt and play the numbers. Now the owner must decide whether to let the city take over his building or sell it. August Wilson’s Two Trains Running paints an unforgettable portrait of ordinary people in the midst of transformation, exploring Black identity in the 1960s with passion and humor, demonstrating why Wilson remains one of America’s essential voices.

“Perfection … a work by a writer at the peak of his powers.”
– Variety