ABOUT THIS BOOK
Within the relatively recent development of a tradition of African American playwriting, the Theodore Ward Prize has, over its twenty-year history, offered a rich reflection of the accomplishments of emerging and established black playwrights and their growing importance in shaping contemporary theater. This volume showcases three winners of the Theodore Ward Prize--plays that in their quality and subject matter aptly represent what is being written and produced by African American playwrights and theaters today.
Carefully selected by a director and educator who has been affiliated with the contest for eighteen of its twenty years, these three works have themes that range from the sordid shenanigans of a Depression-era "South Side Burial Society" (Leslie Lee's Sundown Names and Night-Gone Things) to a single mother's heartbreaking battle to save her children's souls (Mark Clayton Southers' Ma Noah) to a poignant and achingly funny reunion of three sisters after their parents' death (Kim Euell's The Diva Daughters DuPree). Their publication answers a growing demand for the work of African American playwrights even as it affords deep and varied insights into African American culture in our era.