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Behind the Scenes

Can you spot 12 American Century Cycle Easter Eggs?

Did you know Seattle Rep is one of the few theaters in the nation to produce August Wilson’s full ten-play American Century Cycle? We’ve been producing his work since 1982! A couple of items representing each show in the American Century Cycle are incorporated into the set of How I Learned What I Learned. Can you guess what play each Easter egg is from? Bonus points if you can spot them in person! Some items are harder to spot than others.... 

1. What show are these shoes from?  

Hint: It’s the final installment in the American Century Cycle. 

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2. This one is a little easier.... the sport is in the show title. 

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3. This gas can is from one of Wilson’s darker plays about an ex-con trying to rebuild his life. 

Fun Fact: This play’s characters overlap with characters from Seven Guitars. 

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4. This play was performed at Seattle Rep in 1987. 

Hint: A Spanish adaptation of the play was workshopped in summer 2019 at Seattle Rep in collaboration with local company Latino Theatre Projects.   

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5. This payphone was part of two August Wilson’s plays. 

Hint: One of the plays was performed at Seattle Rep in 1991 and 2018. The other was performed in 2002 and 2020 (the run was cut short by the pandemic). 

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6. What is this? A rag baseball. What play might it have been from? 

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7. This phonograph is from the only play set outside of Pittsburgh’s Hill District. Time to head to the recording studio! 

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8. Chicken wire and feathers take us into the world of 1940s post-war Pittsburgh.  

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9. A can of nails is precarious balanced below a few set pieces. Careful not to spill them in the middle of the ocean... 

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10. Yum! What kind of sandwich are you ordering? They say Memphis Lee’s restaurant is slated for demolition, so you better hurry. 

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11. This play was performed at Seattle Rep in 1993 and 2015.

Hint: There is a piano involved with carved faces of the family's great grandparents who were enslaved.

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12. This one’s a little on the nose...  

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Test your knowledge of the American Century Cycle and experience August Wilson’s words and poetry on stage now in How I Learned What I Learned, playing through May 14, 2023.  



  1. Radio Golf  
  2. Radio Golf
  3. King Hedley II  
  4. Joe Turner’s Come and Gone  
  5. Jitney and Two Trains Running 
  6. Fences  
  7. Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom  
  8. Seven Guitars  
  9. Gem of the Ocean  
  10. Two Trains Running 
  11. The Piano Lesson
  12. Fences