"Suzan-Lori Parks is one of the most important dramatists America has produced."--Tony Kushner
"The plan was that no matter what I did, how busy I was, what other commitments I had, I would write a play a day, every single day for a year. It would be about being present and being committed to the artistic process every single day, regardless of the 'weather.' It became a daily meditation, a daily prayer celebrating the rich and strange process of a writing life."--Suzan-Lori Parks
On November 13, 2002, the incomparable Suzan-Lori Parks got an idea to write a play every day for a year. She began that very day, finishing one year later. The result is an extraordinary testament to artistic commitment. This collection of 365 impeccably crafted pieces, each with its own distinctive characters and dramatic power, is a complete work by an artist responding to her world, each and every day. Parks is one of the American theater's most wily and innovative writers, and her "stark but poetic language and fiercely idiosyncratic images transform her work into something haunting and marvelous"(TIME).
"Parks has burst through every known convention to invent a new theatrical language, like a jive Samuel Beckett, while exploding American cultural myths and stereotypes along the way.... She's passionate and jokey and some kind of genius."--Vogue
Finalist, 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama "The finest work yet from this gifted writer."--The New York Times Offered his freedom if he joins his master in the ranks of the Confederacy, Hero, a slave, must choose whether to leave the woman and people he loves for what may be another empty promise. As his decision brings him face to face with a nation at war with itself, the ones Hero left behind debate whether to escape or wait for his return, only to discover that for Hero, freedom may have come at a great spiritual cost. A devastatingly beautiful dramatic work, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) is the opening trilogy of a projected nine-play cycle that will ultimately take us into the present. Suzan-Lori Parks became the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog in 2002. Her other plays include The Book of Grace, In the Blood, Venus, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Fucking A, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom and The America Play. In 2007 her 365 Days/365 Plays was produced at more than seven hundred theaters worldwide. Parks is a MacArthur Fellow and the Master Writer Chair at the Public Theater.
Billy Beede, the teenage daughter of the fast-running, no-account, and six-years-dead Willa Mae, comes home one day to find a fateful letter waiting for her: Willa Mae's burial spot in LaJunta, Arizona, is about to be plowed up to make way for a supermarket. As Willa Mae's only daughter, Billy is heiress to her mother's substantial but unconfirmed fortune; a cache of jewels that Willa Mae's lover, Dill Smiles, is said to have buried with her. Dirt poor, living in a trailer with her Aunt June and Uncle Roosevelt behind a gas station in a tumbleweedy Texas town, and pregnant with an illegitimate child, Billy knows that treasure could mean salvation. So she steals Dill's pickup truck and, with her aunt and uncle in tow, heads for Arizona with Dill in hot pursuit. While everyone agrees it's only polite to speak of getting mother's body and moving her to a proper resting place, it's well understood that digging up Willa Mae's diamonds and pearls will make the whole trip a lot more worthwhile. The enormously accomplished fiction debut from Suzan-Lori Parks, the 2002 winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Drama,Getting Mother's Body takes its place in the company of the classic works of Zora Neale Hurston and Alice Walker. But when it comes to an ingenious, uproarious knack for depicting the trifling, hard-luck, down-and-out souls who need a little singing and laughing and lying and praying to get through the day, Suzan-Lori Parks shares the stage with no one.
"In the Blood is an extraordinary new play...It is truly harrowing...we cannot turn away, and we do not want to. The play strikes us as Hawthorne claimed his first glimpse of the scarlet letter struck him, with "a sensation not altogether physical yet almost so, as of a burning heat, as if the letter were not of red cloth but of red-hot iron.'"--Margo Jefferson, The New York Times The playwright who "has burst through every known convention to invent a new theatrical language, like a jive Samuel Beckett, while exploding American cultural myths and stereotypes along the way [John Heilpern, New York Observer and Vogue]," has written two haunting riffs on Hawthorne's The Scarlett Letter: In the Blood and Fucking A. Hester La Negrita of In the Blood is an unapologetic mother of five illegitimate children--"my treasures, my five joys"--who practices writing the alphabet to help herself "one day get a leg up. The letter A is as far as she gets. Hester Smith of Fucking A works the only job available--abortionist to the lower class, in order to save for a reunion picnic with her imprisoned son. Her branded A bleeds afresh every time a patient comes to see her. These are two mature, beautifully crafted, inventive and poetic plays by one of the most unique voices writing for the stage today.
A darkly comic fable of brotherly love and family identity is Suzan-Lori Parks latest riff on the way we are defined by history. The play tells the story of Lincoln and Booth, two brothers whose names were given to them as a joke, foretelling a lifetime of sibling rivalry and resentment. Haunted by the past, the brothers are forced to confront the shattering reality of their future. Suzan-Lori Parks is the author of numerous plays, including In the Blood and Venus.
Suzan-Lori Parks continues her examination of black people in history and stage through the life of the so-called "Hottentot Venus," an African woman displayed semi-nude throughout Europe due to her extraordinary physiognomy; in particular, her enormous buttocks. She was befriended, bought and bedded by a doctor who advanced his scientific career through his anatomical measurements of her after her premature death.