Tag Archives: black playwrights

Re-membering Vinnette Justine Carroll…

My research focuses on the “insertion” work of black women in literature, particularly theatre. Carroll is a “first” that probably a lot of people do not know about, not just theatre but Broadway.

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Today on her birthday, I re-member Vinnette Justine Carroll who was the “first” black woman to direct a play on Broadway, with her 1972 production of the musical Don’t Bother Me, I Can’t Cope. In addition, until 2016, Carroll was the only black woman to have received a Tony Award nomination for direction. That is 44 years, four decades, that passed before Tony consideration was given for a black woman director on Broadway. And just to do the math, when Carroll made history directing this musical, Broadway had been producing theatre for approximately 115 years.

Carroll was also an actor and playwright. She is known for the reinvention of song-play, the expression of identity through gospel music in the African-American theatre experience. Not surprising, Carroll was into creating and directing new works that positively and artistically presented people of color in theater and art. Her primary interest was giving voice to African Americans and other minority communities that have been culturally and artistically silenced.

Happy birthday to Tony Award nominated director, Vinnette Justine Carroll! Add her name to your name of black women being properly “inserted” and recognized for her artistic contributions in theatre.

 

An Analytical Critique

Please enjoy the analytical critique from a student playwright on my play, Hope’s Return.

Hope’s Return is very relevant to the society we live in today. This play discusses several “back seated” issues faced by a different generation today such as: mental disease, funding higher education, realities of war and our government, depression and even suicide that threatens our younger generation. Although fictional characters were used to create this play, the topics heavily relate to the reality of society in the 21st century.

The characters face harsh realities but eventually trail by the end. Hope, the lead character, is similar to many people in my generation. They try to survive in the work force by different means. Many times we are not prepared mentally for the harshness of how inside management works. This is particularly true for women who find themselves lost in male dominated fields. Vergie represents many mother figures who hope the best for their children. However, being pre occupied with tending to other’s needs can leave your own home in shambles. Sometimes your ears are so deaf and eyes so blind you cannot sense the disarray. El is an excellent example of a true provider and backbone for his family during economically hard times. He may not have been the most tender when it came to Lewis’, his son, poor behavior, but particularly gentle yet stern as his role of father and husband. Lastly, Lewis can fit the description of most young adults who’ve lost their way. Most are always ambitious but not able to get a foot planted in the ground to be successful without their parent’s aid. It seems as if Lewis is always judged by his family based on his past failures instead of his current attempts of success.

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