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"Brotherhood" & "Day of Absence"

  • Theatre 220 54 Saint Philip Street Charleston, SC, 29401 United States (map)
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Commune In Tea: One Act Plays by Douglas Turner Ward

"Brotherhood" A liberal white couple, entertain a sophisticated black couple in their rather strange, sheet-shrouded living room. The whites, filled with hypocrisy, and the blacks, concealing their contempt, put on a show of super-cordiality and friendship. But the false brightness soon palls, and the host and hostess become rattled at the simplest request from their guests. Then the black couple leave and the white couple gleefully tear away the sheets—revealing a horrendous array of plaster "pickaninnies" and other racist artifacts, while "Old Black Joe" blasts forth on the hi-fi.

"Day of Absence" A satire about an imaginary Southern town where all the black people have suddenly disappeared. The only ones left are sick and lying in hospital beds, refusing to get well. Infants are crying because they are being tended to by strange parents. The Mayor pleads for the President, Governor, and the NAACP to send him "a jackpot of jigaboos." On a nationwide radio network he calls on the blacks, wherever they are, to come back. He shows them the cloths with which they wash cars and the brushes with which they shine shoes as sentimental reminders of the goodies that await them. In the end the blacks begin to reappear, as mysteriously as they had vanished, and the white community, sobered by what has transpired, breathes a sigh of relief at the return of the rather uneasy status quo. What will happen next is left unsaid, but the suggestion is strong that things will never quite be the same again.

Earlier Event: March 28
"Brotherhood" & "Day of Absence"
Later Event: March 30
"Brotherhood" & "Day of Absence"