August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned

Playwright August Wilson • Co-Conceived by Todd Kreidler

Director Jade King Carroll

Dates Mar 1 - Mar 19, 2023

Digital on Demand Dates: Not available.

Run Time approximately 1 hour and 40 minutes, with no intermission.

PRICE In-Theater $20-$70

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About the Play

From the late August Wilson, one of America’s greatest playwrights, comes this autobiographical tour de force. In his one-man show, Wilson takes us on a journey through a heartfelt theatrical memoir—charting one man’s journey of self-discovery through adversity, and what it means to be a Black artist in America.

August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Samuel French, Inc

Masking Policy – To better accommodate our patrons’ masking preferences, we have designated the 3rd week for each of the mainstage shows as masks required. All other weeks are designated as masks recommended.

August Wilson’s How I Learned What I Learned
mask required performances are Mar 15 – Mar 19.




  • Preview • 1st Wed & Thu $20-$50
  • All Other • Wed thru Sat $25-$59
  • Thu $25-$59
  • Sat & Sun $30-$65
  • Digital on Demand Not available for this production.
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  • Available in-person,
    day of performance only
  • Wed, Mar 1 7:30 pm
  • Sat, Mar 11 8:00 pm
  • Thu, Mar 16 2:00 pm
Other Discount Programs


  • Page to Stage Feb 14, 2023 • 1:30 PM • Portland Public Library
  • Artistic Talkback Sun, Mar 5 • Following the show
  • Curtain Call Sun, Mar 12• Following the show
Learn More

About the Playwrights

August Wilson

August Wilson (Playwright, April 27, 1945 – October 2, 2005) authored Gem of the Ocean, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, The Piano Lesson, Seven Guitars, Fences, Two Trains Running, Jitney, King Hedley II, and Radio Golf. These works explore the heritage and experience of African-Americans, decade-by-decade, over the course of the twentieth century. His plays have been produced at regional theaters across the country and all over the world, as well as on Broadway. In 2003, Mr. Wilson made his professional stage debut in his one-man show, How I Learned What I Learned. Mr. Wilson’s works garnered many awards including Pulitzer Prizes for Fences (1987); and for The Piano Lesson (1990); a Tony Award for Fences; Great Britain’s Olivier Award for Jitney; as well as eight New York Drama Critics Circle Awards for Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom, Fences, Joe Turner’s Come and Gone, The Piano Lesson, Two Trains Running, Seven Guitars, Jitney, and Radio Golf. Additionally, the cast recording of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom received a 1985 Grammy Award, and Mr. Wilson received a 1995 Emmy Award nomination for his screenplay adaptation of The Piano Lesson. Mr. Wilson’s early works included the one-act plays The Janitor, Recycle, The Coldest Day of the Year, Malcolm X, The Homecoming and the musical satire Black Bart and the Sacred Hills.

Mr. Wilson received many fellowships and awards, including Rockefeller and Guggenheim Fellowships in Playwrighting, the Whiting Writers Award, 2003 Heinz Award, was awarded a 1999 National Humanities Medal by the President of the United States, and received numerous honorary degrees from colleges and universities, as well as the only high school diploma ever issued by the Carnegie Library of Pittsburgh. He was an alumnus of New Dramatists, a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, a 1995 inductee into the American Academy of Arts and Letters, and on October 16, 2005, Broadway renamed the theater located at 245 West 52nd Street – The August Wilson Theatre. Additionally, Mr. Wilson was posthumously inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame in 2007.

Mr. Wilson was born and raised in the Hill District of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania and lived in Seattle, Washington at the time of his death. He is immediately survived by his two daughters, Sakina Ansari and Azula Carmen Wilson, and his wife, costume designer Constanza Romero.

Todd Kreidler

Cast & Creative Team

Meet the Director and the Cast

Jade King Carroll (SDC)

Jade King Carroll, Director •

Jade King Carroll is an award-winning director based in New York City. She originally hails from Woodstock, NY.  

Jade specializes in new play development and directing. She is a multiple time collaborator with playwrights such as Dominique Morisseau, Dael Orlandersmith, Chisa Hutchinson, Sarah Gancher. She has also worked with many other emerging writers at organizations including the Eugene O’Neill Theatre Center, Williamstown Theatre Festival, Roundabout Theatre Company, Lincoln Center Institute, Huntington Theatre, Ars Nova, Playwrights Horizons and The Civilians. Carroll has directed new audio dramas for Audible, Broadway Podcast Network, GEVA Theatre Center, and Marvel Entertainment As the Artistic Associate at Second Stage Theatre, she worked on world premieres by Lynn Nottage, Ana Deavere Smith, Kristoffer Diaz, Rajiv Joseph, and Douglas Carter Beane, along with running 2ST’s education department. Currently, Jade is the resident artist at Dorset Theatre Festival, where she helms the commissioning and fellowship program along with their StageFree audio play series. Carroll is also a part of the artistic team at Rattlestick Theatre and is a New York Theatre Workshop Usual Suspect.  

Jade has a long history of directing the classics and a strong desire to expand our cultural canon. She has directed over 50 productions across the country at such theatres as Primary Stages, Shakespeare Theatre DC, Milwaukee Repertory, Atlantic Theatre, Hartford Stage, Long Wharf Theatre, New York Theatre Workshop, the McCarter Theatre Center at Princeton University, INTAR, Playwright’s Realm, The Wild Project, Miami New Drama, Portland Stage, Weston Playhouse, Portland Playhouse, City Theatre, Marin Theatre, Theatreworks, Two River Theatre, Playmakers Rep, People’s Light & Theatre, NYC Parks Summer Stages, Perseverance Theatre, Joe’s Pub, and Chautauqua Theatre Company.   

At Second Stage, Jade was a Van Lier and NYC Council of the Arts directing fellow, and received a TCG New Generation grant in artistic directing. She is a former NYTW emerging artist fellow, artistic apprentice at the Women’s Project Theatre, and a directing and producing apprentice at the McCarter Theatre Center at Princeton University. She was a Gates Millennium scholar and recently received a 40 under 40 award from her alma mater, SUNY New Paltz. She was also the recipient of the Paul Green Award from the National Theatre Conference and the estate of August Wilson, and 2020 Drama League Award. She was an associate director on Broadway for A STREETCAR NAMED DESIRE featuring Blair Underwood and Daphne Rubin-Vega and THE GIN GAME featuring James Earl Jones and Cicely Tyson.  

As an educator, Jade has taught and guest directed at Juilliard, Princeton, NYU, Iowa University, Penn State, Adelphi University, The New York Conservatory for Dramatic Arts, Point Park University, The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, West Virginia University, Bard College, Columbia University, and Chautauqua Theatre Company. 


Headshot for Lance E. Nichols, member Actors Equity Association
Lance E. Nichols (AEA)

Lance E. Nichols, August Wilson • This veteran actor character actor is best remembered as dentist Larry Williams on the critically acclaimed HBO series Treme which chronicled the lives of post Hurricane Katrina natives and their efforts in rebuilding their lives. His memorable performance as the “faith healing” preacher in The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button garnered praise from critics and the general public. He recurred as The River King in the AMC television series Into The Badlands. He has had recurring rolls on Queen of the South, The Chosen and numerous television shows throughout his 40 year career. He can be seen in the upcoming Amazon film The Burial starring Tommy Lee Jones, Jamie Foxx and Jurnee Smollet as well as the AMC series Demascus with Martin Lawrence, Janet Hubert, and Lynn Whitefield.  Mr. Nichols and his wife Zardis, of 43 years, co-produced their first television pilot Shepherd which won Best Drama at the prestigious ITVFest in 2017 and where he won Best Actor in a Drama. Their win garnered a development meeting with HBO. Lance and his wife are co-owners of Lanzardis Productions which specializes in training young professionals for working in the entertainment industry. In their leisure time they enjoy travel, dining and attending the New Orleans Saints football games.

Stories & Reviews

Feature Stories
At Portland Stage Company, a veteran performer faces a new acting challenge – 207
See how August Wilson learned what he learned, in his own words Molly Adams, Portland Press Herald

One-man show at Portland Stage walks through the life of August Wilson Steve Feeney, Portland Press Herald


Read the Playbill