Pittsburgh-based WQED Multimedia has been awarded a grant from the National Endowment for the Humanities to support production of a documentary on the life and work of Pittsburgh native and Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright August Wilson.
"August Wilson: The Ground On Which I Stand," a 90-minute high-definition television documentary, will be a co-production of WQED and the PBS series "American Masters." The plan is to air the show in 2015.
The late playwright wrote the Pittsburgh Cycle of 10 plays, set mostly in the Hill District, about the African-American experience. He died from liver cancer in 2005, at age 60.
"August Wilson helped to foster the creative work of several generations of African American actors and writers," said Karen Mittelman, director of the Endowment's Division of Public Programs, in a statement. "This project captures both Wilson's significant contributions to American culture, and the complexities of African American life during the 20th century."
"This documentary will be the definitive story of the most prolific playwright of the last half of the 20th century," added Deborah L. Acklin, president and CEO of WQED. "We are deeply honored to have been chosen to co-produce this distinguished project in partnership with 'American Masters.' "
Emmy-winning producer and director Sam Pollard will direct the documentary. He has worked on projects ranging from "Eyes on the Prize II" to Spike Lee's "Jungle Fever" to the Academy Award-nominated documentary "Four Little Girls."
The executive producers are Darryl Ford Williams, vice president of content for WQED Multimedia and responsible for television, radio, interactive and education, and Susan Lacy, creator and executive producer of "American Masters" on PBS. Writer Stephen Stept is an award-winning filmmaker who has been a principal in three major TV projects funded by NEH, including co-writer with Ms. Lacy on "Judy Garland: By Myself."
First Published August 2, 2012 3:30 PM