Two One Acts: Happy Ending and Day of Absence
Friday, January 14, 2022
08:00 PM - 10:00 PM
Arena Players Incorporated
801 McCulloh Street, Baltimore, MD, USA
Arena Players Incorporated Presents...
HAPPY ENDING and DAY OF ABSENCE - Two social comedies by Douglass Turnner Ward.
Day of Absence premiered off-off-Broadway in 1965. Telling the story of a Southern town where all of its Black residents suddenly disappear, Day of Absence is notable for most productions starring Black actors in whiteface in a reverse minstrel show style. Day of Absence explores themes of whiteness and discrimination against Black Americans through its insertion of Black actors into farcical situations inhabiting white bodies.
Happy Ending, a long-running Off-Broadway hit, was also written by Douglas Turner Ward, founder of The Negro Ensemble Company. It tells of two sisters, Ellie and Vi, who work as maid and laundress for the wealthy Harrisons. As the play begins they are sitting at the kitchen table in a tenement apartment in Harlem, lamenting the end of their good times. Mr. Harrison has discovered his wife in an act of infidelity. The sisters fear that if the marriage breaks up they will be both out of a job. Their nephew, Junie, chides them for their sentiments at a time when Blacks are on the march towards liberation. But what Vi and Ellie really fear is that the divorce threatens a cutoff in the household graft the sisters have engaged in and which has brought considerable luxury to their lives.
DUE TO COVID-19 ALL PATRONS MUST WEAR MASKS, HAVE A VACINATION CARD, AND A VALID ID.
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