LANGSTON: A Play by Ossie Davis


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A biographical play about Langston Hughes' early life, presented as a sort-of autobiography with Langston reminiscing to a group of actors, who in turn play the roles in the remembered scenes. Glimpsed in the process are Hughes' determination to be a writer and a Negro writer; his mean rich father's insistence that he study engineering; his stay in Mexico with his father; later a happier stay in Paris; his poetry prizes and struggles with poverty; his ground-down mother, a house worker with a college degree; and a strategic talk, at white-taught Lincoln College for Negroes, with a visiting black professor whose message is that ""some of us have to be Uncle Toms."" Frequent quotations from Hughes' poems provide the required highs, and the slipping back and forth between memories and actors gives some stage interest to the scenes, which tend to be drawn with a heavy hand. Like Davis' Escape to Freedom, about Frederick Douglass, this has obvious potential for school and youth-group production.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1982
Publisher: Delacorte