UPDATED BELOW (TWICE!)
I'm going to be starting a new cross-blog project between my two blogs, and I'd love to get as many readers of either (or both) sites involved.
It's been a goal of mine for awhile to read the entirety of August Wilson's 20th Cenutry Cycle in the order in which they're supposed to take place. It doesn't take that long to read plays, and I think it would be good to look at the extraordinary body of work in this way. And, since they were written out of order, I think it'll provide some interesting depth to look at the cycle this way and see how it holds up.
I also think that it would be an excellent opportunity for us (readers and myself, that is) to work together to get an interesting conversation going over on the other blog. So here's what I'd like to propose:
(1) Starting Monday, January 8th, I'll begin writing posts on the 20th Century Cycle over at WRB. These posts will be designed (with any luck) to start a conversation that can continue in the comments thread off each post.
(2) I'll write about a new play in the cycle either every Monday or every other Monday after that (which would you prefer, dear reader?) and that way we can keep the momentum going, moving on to the next play while the memory from the old is still fresh, while allowing people enough time to read whatever other things they've got going on in their lives (plays are pretty quick reads, after all, even August Wilson plays).
(3) We'll cap it all off with reading August Wilson's The Ground on Which I Stand his summation of his political and dramaturgical beliefs.
And, obviously, people could participate as much or as little as they want. You could write in to talk about productions you've seen of the plays, for example, if you didn't want to read them, or you could just read the ones you want to or whatever.
Also... all of the plays are available for purchase at the We Read Books online store, if you're interested in supporting us. Most of them are also available at Powell's, which might have lower prices, I'm not sure. The only one not available at either is Radio Golf, the final one, which must be purchased at Sam French.
What do you think, dear reader? Interested in participating?
(oh, and PS, things are getting pretty exciting over at the other place with frequent postings about Joyce and the American revolution and a new piece by moi responding to James Baldwin's Another Country)
UPDATE: The 20th Century Cycle (Or the Pittsburgh Cycle) or Whatever We're Calling It These Days, in chrological order of plot (the dates in parenthesis are the year each play was written). Thanks, as always, wikipedia.
UPDATE II: Thomas W. Jones II's production of Wilson's Two Trains Running at the Studio in DC was by far one of the most formative theatrical experiences of my young life, right up there in the pantheon with Angles in America. From what I know, I'm pretty sure it had the same effect on We Read Books cowriter Herx. It had never occured to me until reading Ben Brantley's review today that the play has almost no plot and (at least in its NYC incarnation) is over three hours long. That's how exciting the combination between musicality of language, detail of staging and intensity of performance, not to mention seeing the show extra-sold-out with a 95% african american and extremely present audience made that play when I saw it in DC. Hopefully we can talk more about this when we get to the Two Train and Seven Guitars parts of the reading.