Theatre Arts Professor Timothy Johnson Directs Metropolitan Playhouse’s Latest Zoom Production
Audiences can enjoy the production for free from the comfort of their homes on Saturday, June 13, 2020 at 8 pm.
The thirty-minute production with be followed by a discussion with Rashida Z. Shaw McMahon, Ph.D., Assistant Professor of English and affiliated faculty in African American Studies at Wesleyan University.
Jane Lee has compromised with her white neighbor, Ben Carter, again and again. When he accidentally shot her eldest son, she accepted the deal her husband made to compensate. When her husband drank himself to death with the money, she swallowed her resentment. When her second son set out to take revenge, she equivocated with him. And now her daughter is pregnant by that same neighbor’s son. And she is still willing to strike a bargain to get her children to a better place. But it wouldn’t take much to convince her she’s compromised enough.
The production features performances by Anthony T. Goss, Linda Kuriloff, Al-nisa Petty, Lily Santiago, and George Sheffey, and is directed by MMC’s Timothy Johnson.
About the Playwright
Born in Wilmington, NC, in 1889, Willis Richardson was raised in Washington, D.C. and became absorbed in literature as a boy. With early encouragement from WEB DuBois’s “Brownie’s Book,” and publication of his short play “The Deacon’s Awakening” in The Crisis, (1921), he submitted 1922’s “The Chip Woman’s Fortune” to Chicago’s Ethiopian Art Players. Their production of the play became the first drama by an African American author produced on Broadway, running in 1923 at The Frazee Theatre. Among later plays, The Broken Banjo (1926),
is probably his best known work and received the Crisis Spingarn Prize for drama, as did his Bootblack Lover the following year. In spite of his prolific output, he had only modest recognition as a dramatist. Richardson worked at the U.S. Bureau of Engraving and Printing from 1910 until his retirement in 1955,
and six of his full length plays were never published. Richardson received the Outstanding Pioneer award from the Audience Development Committee (AUDELCO) in 1977, announced posthumously, a mere few days after his death.