Yay, libraries. I’m delighted that my college library has a full set of August Wilson’s plays. I’ve had them all checked out for a couple months, but I’m finished with them for now.
During the Christmas break I taught a special topics course on Wilson’s Century Cycle. I thought it was too much to expect students to read all 10 plays during an intensive course that lasts for just 3 weeks, so I assigned four plays that we all read, and broke the class up into groups that covered the other six plays.
I hope to offer this course again, maybe in about three years. This time around, I was reading the plays in chronological order, based on the time they were set. Next time, I may consider teaching them in the order Wilson wrote them. At any rate, as the class was wrapping up, I started taking notes on each play, paying special attention to characters who are mentioned or appear in more than one play. My summaries got a lot more detailed as I worked through the list. I took special care to avoid giving away big spoilers.