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Before It Hits Home Drama 10 (5m, 5f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

Wendal, a jazz musician who has never managed to make it big, has just been diagnosed with having the AIDS virus. To a string of questioning doctors, he indignantly denies having had any sexual relations with others but by the end of the first act we see him in two simultaneous bedroom scenes, one between him and his fiancee, Simone, who is pregnant, and one between him and his male lover, Douglas, who is actually a married man and father. In these combined scenes, Wendal's denial and confusion are painfully obvious as he tries to hide the truth about his health from both of his partners; he seems especially intent to hide from Douglas the extent of his undisclosed promiscuity. In the second act, Wendal has drifted away from both Simone and Douglas, unable to sustain the lies that had been keeping his two worlds apart and in balance. He returns home to his mother and father, but upon confiding the truth to them, he is abandoned by his mother who, in a wrathful explosion of raw emotion, indicts Wendal for immorality and takes with her his teenage son from a previous marriage. Wendal's father, however, overcomes his facade of masculine pride and takes up caring for Wendal in his final days, eventually enacting a tentative reconciliation between the family members only in time for Wendal to die. The final image of the play lingers as Simone reappears, her own health and the life of her unborn child in question.

Winner of the Helen Hayes Award for best new play. The story of a black bisexual jazz musician whose double life endangers both himself and his loved ones. "…relentlessly observant and ruthlessly forthright…BEFORE IT HITS HOME shows that there are things about AIDS we haven't grasped yet—as playwrights, audiences, and people." —NY Magazine. "BEFORE IT HITS HOME…is not a play about victimization…It is instead an authentic, at times almost hysterical wake-up call to the black community, sounded from within." —NY Times. "West…[speaks] only from a center of pure, compassionate rage." —Village Voice.    

Jar the Floor Comedy/Satire 5 (0m, 5f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

A quartet of black women spanning four generations makes up this heartwarming dramatic comedy. The four, plus the white woman friend of the youngest, come together to celebrate the matriarch's ninetieth birthday. It's a wild party, one that is a lovable lunatic glance at the exhilarating challenge of growing old amidst the exasperating trials of growing up.

"…a moving and hilarious account of a black family sparring in a Chicago suburb…" —NY Magazine. "…heart-to-heart confrontations and surprising revelations…first-rate…" —NY Daily News. "…unpretentious good feelings…bubble through West's loving and humorous play…" —Star-Ledger. "…wise and funny…an immensely gratifying evening of theater." —NY Law Journal. "…one of the wisest plays I've seen in ages…[from] a master playwright." —USA Today. "A fresh, spirited evening—genuinely moving." —Washington Post.

Motherhood Out Loud Comedy/Satire 4 (1m, 3f) View Details Compare
Short
Synopsis

When entrusting the subject of motherhood to such a dazzling collection of celebrated American writers, what results is a joyous, moving, hilarious, and altogether thrilling theatrical event. Utterly unpredictable, MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD shatters traditional notions about parenthood, unveils its inherent comedy and celebrates the deeply personal truths that span and unite generations.

MOTHERHOOD OUT LOUD reveals with illuminating insight the humour, raw emotions and rocky roads we experience in life.

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