Our friends at Seattle Public Library put together a reading list just for our production, with plenty of titles to feed your interest before and after the show.
To view a full annotated list and place holds on items visit
Seattle Public Library’s website.
The script of TWO TRAINS RUNNING, for your reading pleasure.
American Dream, in Black and White
Streaming Video - 2005
Interviews with Wilson and fellow writers provide insights into the African American experience. Includes scenes from TWO TRAINS RUNNING.
The Ground on Which I Stand
This documentary explores the legacy of Wilson with interviews, dramatic readings and rare footage. Features James Earl Jones, Phylicia Rashad, Laurence Fishburne and Viola Davis.
A man grieves for his brother in this sweeping family saga set in 1960s Harlem. Baldwin's novel is informed by the power of gospel music, as Wilson's work is of the blues.
An Anthology of Afro-American Writing
Book - 2007
Originally published in 1968, this collection of essays showcases the social and cultural turmoil of the 1960s Black Arts Movement through the eyes of 75 writers and leaders of the period.
Wilson frequently cited his “Four B’s” of influence: the blues, Borges, Bearden and Baraka, whose writing embraced the political. This collection of poetry focuses on Baraka’s separation from white society’s values.
Borges was another of Wilson’s “Four B’s” of influence. As Mark William Rocha writes in “August Wilson and the Four B’s: Influences,” Wilson’s protagonists “each [conduct] a Borgesean quest to locate or lose a text.”
This classic 1960s album includes the classic blues song “Two Trains Running.” As Ma Rainey says in Wilson’s play “Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom,” “This be an empty world without the blues.”
Essential Chicago Blues Rarities Collection
Music CD - 2014
Music shapes the dialogue and spirit of TWO TRAINS RUNNING. This compilation of 1960s blues includes selections from Sunnyland Slim, James Cotton and Maxwell Street Jimmy (performing “Two Trains Running”).
DVD - 2017
See the feature film of “Fences” from Wilson’s “Pittsburgh Cycle” set in the decade preceding TWO TRAINS RUNNING. Starring Viola Davis and Denzel Washington.
May All your Fences Have Gates
Essays on the Drama of August Wilson
Book - 1994
This collection of literary criticism includes the essay “American History as ‘Loud Talking’ in TWO TRAINS RUNNING” by noted Wilsonian scholar Mark William Rocha.
This literary guide examines Wilson’s life as well as the themes, settings and characters in his “Pittsburgh Cycle” (aka “Century Cycle”) plays, which includes TWO TRAINS RUNNING.