After bringing his theatrical works to the silver screen and on Broadway, Denzel Washington is honoring legendary playwright August Wilson in a different way. According to CBS Pittsburgh, the actor has been working to raise money to restore Wilson’s Pittsburgh home.
The home—which sits at 1727 Bedford Avenue—will become the August Wilson House; a space that will house exhibits, classes for aspiring writers, and host plays, the news outlet writes. So far several celebrities have stepped up to help bring the vision for the August Wilson House to fruition. Amongst those who have donated to the project—that is being spearheaded by Washington—includes Tyler Perry, Oprah Winfrey, Shonda Rhimes, and Spike Lee. There was a groundbreaking ceremony on Wednesday.
“I love August. He touches my soul, our souls. This is just like coming home to me. I feel so comfortable here,” Washington told the news outlet. “It starts with August and the wonderful people here and the commitment that we see today to this community, and I’m glad to be a part of that.” Wilson’s brother Richard Kittel says August would have been honored and humbled that his former house would be turned into a space to inspire playwrights, actors, and artists for generations to come.
In 2015, Washington announced that he had landed a deal with HBO to produce nine of August Wilson’s plays for the cable network. “His stories are specifically African American stories, but the themes are universal,” Washington told the Hollywood Reporter. “He was just a bright, brilliant shining light who was here and then he was gone, but his work will live forever to be interpreted by actors and directors for as long as we’re here.” According to the Post-Gazette, the HBO project is still in the works and is slated to be released by 2020.