An African American Trilogy
- This Trilogy of plays spans four generations of an African American family
- Presents a part of African American history that has been erased from US history
- Is rooted in the tradition of Black Theatre
- Chronicles the depth and range of the African American culture
It is 2020, black lives do matter and it’s more vital than ever to understand the histories of people who have been marginalized, to understand how biased perceptions and stereotypes occur when there is lack of knowledge and understanding of others history and culture.
These plays offer a deep and dramatic insight into four generations of an African American family and how circumstances can create a political and social dynamic and mindset within a culture. They portray previous generations of African Americans, their historical economic realities and explore how problems were perceived, faced and solved as well as how people saw themselves. It also demonstrates how the differences in people’s economic, cultural and social histories can impact on their world view through the generations.
The plays are a rare insight into the African American culture, portraying the richness of the language used in authentic voices. Although they show the struggles faced, there is no blame, pity or apology. What rings true is their resounding resilience in the face of life. People fall, they stumble, they change, they grow but above it all they live and breathe their experience and own it unapologetically as they mark out and love their roles as part of that great melting pot. Though burnt and scorched they are making their way along the road, living their part and version of the American dream.
They reflect the author’s experience of growing up in Ohio during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s, and his large extended family’s lives, thoughts, emotional turmoil and conflicts. He grew up rooted in their stories and language
He wrote this trilogy to preserve their lives and those of people like them, to celebrate some of the historical mindset and psychology that grew out of this African American culture and so that future generations can understand that African American experience doesn’t have to live in reflection of, acquiescence to, or compare itself with America’s dominant Eurocentric culture in order to be considered valid.
AN OVERVIEW OF THE PLAYS
The Trilogy covers the period 1931 to 2015, across 4 generations of the Marshall family in Cleveland Ohio.
PAPA’S BATHTUB GIN
1st and 2nd Generation Marshall Family
It’s 1931 and the USA is in the middle of its most devastating economic depression ever. In addition, the government has prohibited the making and drinking of alcohol. As a result, bootleggers are making illegal whiskey and waging war for territory and customers all across the country; because illegal whiskey has proven to be one of the few sources of guaranteed and sustainable income during the present hard times.
1967: YEAR OF THE SACRED COW
3nd Generation Marshall Family
In the White House and other US government circles, the summer of 1967 is being called “The Long Hot Summer” because during the past year 159 race riots have broken out across the country. Malcolm X was assassinated in New York sixteen months earlier, the Black Panthers are threatening police with armed violent response on national TV and Carl Stokes, is set to become elected as the first black Mayor of a major US city. “Saint” Marshall is caught in the crossfire of changing times, both professionally and personally.
FISHIN’ IN THE SKY
4th Generation Marshall Family
It’s 2015 and a special service has been arranged at the local church to dedicate the new building to the memory of Ronell Marshall. All seems to be going well until the circumstances surrounding the execution of Ronell’s father’s will are revealed and create turmoil, unlocking a long-hidden secret that could destroy or heal the family.
Reading of “Papa’s Bathtub Gin” Leimert Theatre Los Angeles 2017
PAPA’S BATHTUB GIN: Created by producer/playwright Teddy Hayes, as part of his Urban Outcries Trilogy was presented at Leimert Theatre in Los Angeles
“Papa’s Bathtub Gin” is set during the depression during the 1930s, as the Black community attempts to weather the Great Depression through the manufacture of illegal liquor, aka “bathtub gin.” During the course of their efforts to make ends meet, the makers of bathtub gin encounter local crime bosses, bickering within their own ranks and an epiphany that threatens their very livelihoods.
The first staged reading of this production was mounted in London, England, in 2016. “Papa’s Bathtub Gin” is based on Hayes’ personal family history as they transitioned from the South to the Midwest.
Papa’s Bathtub Gin” held its first public presentation in the United States at Leimert Park’s Vision Theater (Los Angeles California), in August of 2017, as part of their annual summer festival of staged readings. This performance was performed by a stellar cast including Thyais Walsh (“Diff’rent Strokes,” “Panther”), Derek Shaun (“The Young and the Restless,” “40 days and Nights,”), Juanita Jennings (“Basic Instinct,” “Baby Boy”) and Richard Gant (“The Big Lebowski,” “Bones,” “Deadwood,” and “General Hospital”).
Audience supporters set up a petition to National Theatre in U.K. to stage “Papa’s Bathtub Gin”
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Contact: Teddy Hayes
Country: United Kingdom