From its inception in California in 1974 to its highly acclaimed critical success at Joseph Papp’s Public Theater and on Broadway, the Obie Award–winning for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf has excited, inspired, and transformed audiences all over the country. Passionate and fearless, Shange’s words reveal what it meant to be of color and female in the twentieth century. First published in 1975, when it was praised by The New Yorker for “encompassing . . . every feeling and experience a woman has ever had,” for colored girls who have considered suicide/when the rainbow is enuf will be read and performed for generations to come. Here is the complete text, with stage directions, of a groundbreaking dramatic prose poem written in vivid and powerful language that resonates with unusual beauty in its fierce message to the world.
Set on Chicago's South Side, this play revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee, his wife Ruth, his sister Beneatha, his son Travis and matriarch Lena, called Mama. When her deceased husband's insurance money comes through, Mama dreams of moving to a new home and a better neighborhood in Chicago. Walter Lee, a chauffeur, has other plans, however: buying a liquor store and being his own man. Beneatha dreams of medical school. The tensions and prejudice they face form this seminal American drama. Sacrifice, trust and love among the Younger family and their heroic struggle to retain dignity in a harsh and changing world is a searing and timeless document of hope and inspiration.
A darkly comic, smashed-up retelling of Richard III, Shakespeare's classic tale about the lust for power, Teenage Dick reimagines the most famous disabled character of all time as a high-school outsider in junior year: the deepest winter of his discontent. Picked on because of his disability (as well as his sometimes creepily Shakespearean way of speaking), Richard is determined to have his revenge and make his name by becoming president of the senior class. But like all teenagers, and all despots, he is faced with the hardest question of all: is it better to be loved, or feared?
Albert and Jennifer Chen were at the pinnacle of academic achievement. But now they suck at adult life. Albert's just been passed up for promotion and Jennifer's just been dumped by her loser boyfriend. So they do what any reasonable egghead brother and sister would do: go on an Asian Freedom Tour! From California to Shenzen, Tiger Style! examines the successes and failures of tiger parenting from the point of view of a playwright who's actually been through it.
It is the eve of Obama's first election. Four of Harvard University's brightest; a surgeon, an actress, a psychologist, and a neuro-psychiatrist, are all interested in different aspects of the brain, particularly how it responds to race. But like all smart people, they are also searching for love, success, and identity in their own lives. Lydia Diamond brings these characters together in this sharp, witty play about social and sexual politics.
Adept at capturing the experience of the upper-middle-class African-American, Diamond lays out two families' worth of secrets in this precise play. With only six characters, she constructs a vivid weekend of crossed pasts and uncertain but optimistic futures. On Martha's Vineyard, an affluent African-American family gathers in their vacation home, joined by the housekeeper's daughter, who is filling in for her mother. The family patriarch is a philandering physician; one of his sons has followed in his footsteps, while the other, after numerous false starts in a variety of careers, is a struggling novelist. Both bring along their current girlfriends, to meet the family for the first time. With such highly--perhaps over--educated vacationers, the conversation and the barbs fly, on subjects ranging from race to economics to politics. But there is also more than enough human drama, which reaches its climax when an old family secret comes out. Through lively exchanges and simmering wit, the family tackles a history filled with complications both within the family and in the outer world.
Throughout her meteoric rise into the upper ranks of young playwrights, Lydia R. Diamond has boldly challenged assumptions about African American culture. In Harriet Jacobs, she turns one of the greatest of American slave narratives, Jacobs' Incidents in the Life of a Slave Girl, into a penetrating, rousing work of theater. Jacobs' book--which was published in 1861 and only partially serialized in Horace Greely's New York Tribune before it was deemed too graphic--chillingly exposed the sexual harassment and abuse of slave girls and women at the hands of their masters. Harriet Jabobs: A Play organically incorporates theatrical elements that extend the book's enormous power. Through active scenes, piercing direct address, and slave narratives, Diamond is able to give new expression to the horrors and legacies of slavery. Diamond presents African American culture in all its richness--with slavery as a part of it, but not its defining aspect. Though harrowing, Harriet Jacobs addresses the necessary task of reenvisioning a difficult chapter in American history.
It is Annie Desmond's sixteenth birthday and her friends have decided to help her celebrate in style, complete with a brand new tattoo. Before her special night is over, however, Annie and her friends enter into a life altering pact. When Annie tries to make good on
A volume of work by the innovative African-American playwright, author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Topdog/Underdog. The volume also contains the plays Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Devotees in the Garden of Love, Betting on the Dust Commander and several essays.
Offered his freedom if he joins his master in the ranks of the Confederacy, Hero, a slave, must choose whether to leave the woman and people he loves for what may be another empty promise. As his decision brings him face to face with a nation at war with itself, the ones Hero left behind debate whether to escape or wait for his return, only to discover that for Hero, freedom may have come at a great spiritual cost. A devastatingly beautiful dramatic work, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) is the opening trilogy of a projected nine-play cycle that will ultimately take us into the present.
A darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity, from the leading black American woman playwright. Winner of the 2002 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. Suzan-Lori Parks' play Topdog/Underdog tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke, foretelling a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future.
A bold exploration of colonisation and objectification, based on the true story of the 'Hottentot Venus'. Sarah 'Saartjie' Baartman was an indigenous South African woman who - due principally to the large size of her buttocks - was exhibited as a freak-show attraction throughout 19th-century Europe. She became known as the 'Hottentot Venus', and was exploited by the doctor who loved her.