African American Drama
A Raisin in the Sun and the Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window
And, the Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window
Paperback ISBN: 0679755314
By the time of her death thirty years ago, at the tragically young age of thirty-four, Lorraine Hansberry had created two electrifying masterpieces of the American theater. With A Raisin in the Sun, Hansberry gave this country its most movingly authentic portrayal of black family life in the inner city. Barely five years later, with The Sign in Sidney Brustein's Window, Hansberry gave us an unforgettable portrait of a man struggling with his individual fate in an age of racial and social injustice. These two plays remain milestones in the American theater, remarkable not only for their historical value but for their continued ability to engage the imagination and the heart. With an Introduction by Robert Nemiroff
The Red Letter Plays
Paperback ISBN: 1559361956
"In the Blood is an extraordinary new play…It is truly harrowing…we cannot turn away, and we do not want to. The play strikes us as Hawthorne claimed his first glimpse of the scarlet letter struck him, with "a sensation not altogether physical yet almost so, as of a burning heat, as if the letter were not of red cloth but of red-hot iron.’"—Margo Jefferson, The New York Times The playwright who "has burst through every known convention to invent a new theatrical language, like a jive Samuel Beckett, while exploding American cultural myths and stereotypes along the way [John Heilpern, New York Observer and Vogue]," has written two haunting riffs on Hawthorne’s The Scarlett Letter: In the Blood and Fucking A. Hester La Negrita of In the Blood is an unapologetic mother of five illegitimate children—"my treasures, my five joys"—who practices writing the alphabet to help herself "one day get a leg up. The letter A is as far as she gets. Hester Smith of Fucking A works the only job available—abortionist to the lower class, in order to save for a reunion picnic with her imprisoned son. Her branded A bleeds afresh every time a patient comes to see her. These are two mature, beautifully crafted, inventive and poetic plays by one of the most unique voices writing for the stage today. Suzan Lori-Parks is also the author of The America Play and Other Works and Venus, both published by TCG. She lives in Brooklyn, New York.
Notes from the Field
Paperback ISBN: 0525564594
From the Tony- and Pulitzer-nominated playwright, actress, and activist: shining a light on the school-to-prison pipeline, this urgent new work of drama brings together seventeen voices from the African American community--students and teachers, counselors and congressmen, preachers and prisoners. Now a full-length HBO feature. An Anchor Original. Notes from the Field--originally performed as a one-person play--portrays a host of real-life figures who have witnessed, experienced, and fought the system that pushes students of color out of the classroom and into prisons. (As Smith put it in a recent interview: "Stuff that for middle-class kids or rich kids, it'd be considered mischief; for poor kids, it's really that road to prison.") We are introduced to these figures one by one: Sherrilyn Iffil, president of the NAACP; Rev. Jamal Harrison Bryant, who spoke at the funeral of Freddie Gray; Niya Kenny, a high school student who was arrested for defending a classmate against a teacher's overzealous discipline; Bree Newsome, the activist who made headlines when she removed the Confederate flag from the state house grounds of South Carolina; and many others. Taken together, these voices bear powerful witness to a great injustice of our time--and inspire us with their accounts of perseverance, resistance, and progress.
For Colored Girls Who Have Considered Suicide / When the Rainbow Is Enuf
Paperback ISBN: 1439186812
A tie-in edition to the film adaptation of the 1975 classic is a passionate treatise on the black female experience in 20th-century America that includes the complete text, behind-the-scenes stage directions and two new poems. Reprint. Movie tie-in.
The Collected Last Plays : The Drinking Gourd/What Use Are Flowers?
Paperback ISBN: 0679755322
Here are Lorraine Hansberry's last three plays--Les Blancs, The Drinking Gourd, and What Use Are Flowers?--representing the capstone of her achievement. Includes a new preface by Jewell Gresham Nemiroff and a revised introduction by Margaret B. Wilkerson.
Let Me Down Easy
Paperback ISBN: 1559365463
[An] engrossing collection of testimonials about life, death and the care of the ailing body...Ms. Smith has created a vivid compendium of life experienced at its extremes, drawn about equally from the suffering and the ministering sides of the story.” New York Times Vitally important, wide-ranging and ultimately very moving” Los Angeles Times For over thirty years, Anna Deavere Smith has created her own unique form of theatre by exploring the events that have shaped the American psychea theatre that documents real-time events through the actual words of those most closely involved. In Let Me Down Easy, Smith creates an indelible gallery of portraits, from a rodeo bull rider to a prize fighter to a New Orleans doctor during Hurricane Katrina, as well as boldface names like former Texas Governor Ann Richards, legendary cyclist Lance Armstrong, network film critic Joel Siegel, and supermodel Lauren Hutton. Their stories are alternately humorous and heart-wrenching, and often a blend of both. Building upon each other with hypnotic force, her subjects recount personal encounters with the frailty of the human body, ranging from a mere brush with mortality, coping with an uncertain future in today’s medical establishment, to confronting an end-of-life transition. The testimony of health care professionals adds further texture to a vivid portrayal of the cultural and societal attitudes to matters of health. Anna Deavere Smith is an actor, playwright, and author. Smith's plays are written using the journalistic technique of interviewing her subjects and performing their testimonies. These works include the award-winning plays Twilight: Los Angeles and Fires in the Mirror, which was a finalist for the 1993 Pulitzer Prize. Both plays were broadcast on PBS as part of the American Playhouse series.
Nine Plays : A Critical Anthology With Interviews and Essays
Paperback ISBN: 1557832781
This first-of-its kind collection includes a wide range of works, from an early examination and critique of American society after World War II to plays that reflect socio-political concerns that kept pace with historical events, like the sit-in demonstrations, the bus boycotts, black nationalism, and the women's liberation movement. A hybrid of comedic forms including satire, farce, comedy of manners, romantic comedy, dark comedy, and tragicomedy are presented through vernacular language, stand-up performance art, masks, broad humor, as well as the minstrel show. Essays, articles and interviews complement this critical edition.