By Dael Orlandersmith
(Vintage, Paperback, 9781400032068, 112pp.)
Publication Date: October 8, 2002
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These two raucously acclaimed new plays by Dael Orlandersmith, whom The New York Times has called "an otherworldly messenger, perhaps the sorcerer's apprentice, or a heaven-sent angel with the devil in her," confirm her reputation as one of the truly unique voices in contemporary American drama.
In Yellowman, a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Drama, Alma and Eugene have known each other since they were young children. As their friendship blossoms into love, Alma struggles to free herself from her mother's poverty and alcoholism, while Eugene must contend with the legacy of being "yellow"—lighter-skinned than his brutal and unforgiving father. In My Red Hand, My Black Hand, a young woman explores her heritage as the child of a blues-loving Native American man and a black sharecropper's daughter from Virginia. Alternately joyous and harrowing, both plays are powerful examinations of the racial tensions that fracture communities and individual lives.
Dael Orlandersmith presented her first play, Liar, Liar, in New York in 1994, and since then has written several others, including Beauty's Daughter, which appeared at the American Place Theatre and won a Obie Award in 1995; Monster, which was presented to critical acclaim at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1996; and The Gimmick, which she performed at the New York Theatre Workshop in 1999. She was a finalist for the 2002 Pulitzer Prize in Drama for Yellowman and the 1999 Susan Smith Blackburn Award and is the recipient of a New York Foundation for the Arts Fellowship and the Helen Merrill Award for Emerging Playwrights.
"A landmark in theater history.... Enthralling.... Mind-altering." —The New York Times
"One of the most gripping, instructive, transforming hours in contemporary theater." The Times (Trenton, NJ)