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From the Mississippi Delta
From the Mississippi Delta
Lorraine Hansberry award-winning author

Drama-Logue Theatre Award winner for Playwriting

Pulitzer Prize Nominee
By Dr. Endesha Ida Mae Holland.

Cast: 3w. (Each of the three women will play multiple roles.) The journey begins in Greenwood, Mississippi—the Delta. "In my Delta town, some black girls aspired to become the woman—the mistress of some wealthy white man. But the darker ones—like me—could make it by going to the cottonfields, working from sun to sun, for just about three dollars a day," laments Phelia (Holland's alter-ego). It is those and other dreadful experiences that inspire her to dream far beyond the funny-paper walls in her drafty shotgun house in Dixie Lane Alley. Phelia's mother, Aint Baby, is a powerful influence. A midwife who delivers babies of poor black and white women, she also rents out rooms to prostitutes, as a way "t' make a livin' for me an' my chulluns." On her 11th birthday, Phelia's childhood is brutally stolen from her by a white man. Not even Aint Baby can protect her from white people, nor remove the sickening taste of shame. Phelia plots a series of escapes. After the rape, she attempts to join a minstrel show as an exotic dancer, astounding the male audience with her "special" skill, but the plan is quickly thwarted. At the age of 12, Phelia is a prostitute and a thief. At 14 she has quit school and spent time in jail, and by 16, she is an unwed mother. Then the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee (SNCC) comes to town, and Phelia is swept into the momentum of the civil rights movement. Tragically, Aint Baby is killed when her house is firebombed, and a heartbroken, but determined Phelia goes off to meet her destiny in the North. There she finds herself lured into the neon world of pimps, junkies and whores. Amazingly, she is encouraged and supported by a community of civil rights workers, friends and her "street family" to attend college. The journey ends, 20 years later, as Phelia "buck-dances" across the stage at the University of Minnesota to accept her Ph.D. Inspired by Alice Walker's poem "Revolutionary Petunias," the play closes with an emotional tribute to unsung black "sheroes"—extraordinary, ordinary women who are the backbone of the African-American community. Single flexible set. Approximate Running Time: 2 hours.

Play details
Status:  In Stock
Type of show:  Full-Length
Catalog Code:  F86
Cast Size:  3
No. of Act(s):  1
Pages:  56
Royalty:  $80.00 /perf.*
Cost:  $9.95
Approx. Running Time:  120 min.
Target Audience: High School | College and Adult
Performing Group: College Theatre | Community Theatre | Stock & Lort
Genre: Drama
ISBN (10): 1583423109
Publication Date: 12/07/2005
When Ida Mae Holland entered the world on August 29, 1944, in Greenwood, Miss., no one could have predicted the odyssey that would become her life. "Cat," as she was nicknamed, was born in a rundown, drafty shotgun house to a poor but resourceful black woman, who already had three hungry mouths to feed, no formal education and limited employment ...More
Rights & Availability
This title can be licensed/sold throughout the world
* Please note that royalties quoted in our catalog are intended for K-12 schools with a standard curriculum only. All other producing groups must submit a completed application.

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