The America Play by Susan Lori-Parks: An Analysis

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The America Play and E Pluribus Unum: Barbara Jordan -- One Voice

Written at the height of post-modernism, The America Play is a study of African-American historiography and how it relates to identity. But if you choose to see this play, it definitely helps to know a lot more about it than that. Our main character, the Foundling Father Tavis Delgado is a Lincoln impersonator who lives in a great hole.

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Why does he do this? Those whispers are very real; he and Lucy, who is a confidant to the dying, used to hear the memories of the past playing in their heads over and over all the time at the Great Hole.

The America Play - Highlights

The play is split into two scenes, and after meeting the Foundling Father, we flash forward in time to Lucy and their son, Brazil Tony Santiago. She still hears the echoes of the past, and is now looking for the ghost of her long-gone husband.

The America Play

Their hope is to finally give the Foundling a proper funeral. The three main actors all have a keen understanding of the absurdist nature of the play. Delgado is a wistful, but forceful and persuasive Foundling Father, which perhaps is what invited the Lincoln comparisons. Rory Jobst and havalah grace show up a few times as assassins or whispers of the past to provide a little spice when the other characters need inspiration.

Director Vanessa Stallings presents the material with the right playful, but thoughtful, tone for absurdism.

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The America Play – Variety

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