Stories are an integral part of how we understand our communities—both their histories and our place within them. Theater is uniquely suited to this function, as every dramatic performance creates space removed one step from reality. On the stage, we can explore not just who we are, but who we might be.
A highlight of Telling Our Stories of Home, an ongoing 6-day conference-festival that brings artists, activists, and scholars together to examine the concept of “home” in African and African-Diaspora communities, will be the performance of Torn Asunder, a specially commissioned play based on the book Help Me to Find My People by Heather Williams, that focuses on the quest of African-American families to reunite after the Civil War.
It is from Torn Asunder that we take our cue, providing some complementary resources that expand on the intersection of theater and TOSH’s theme of “home.” The following list consists of a small selection of the Stone Center Library’s theater-related books that we hope will spur your imagination and curiosity in this fascinating and vital discussion. All quoted summaries are taken from the UNC-CH library catalog.
Thanks to a recent donation from UNC-CH Department of Dramatic Art professor Kathy A. Perkins, the SCL now has several new titles on and by female playwrights. Check out:
Perkins, Kathy A. African Women Playwrights. Urbana: U of Illinois P, c2009.
Perkins, Kathy A. Black Female Playwrights : An Anthology of Plays Before 1950. Bloomington: Indiana UP, c1989.
Perkins, Kathy A. Black South African Women : An Anthology of Plays. Cape Town: U of Cape Town P, 1999.
Perkins, Kathy A., and Judith L. Stephens. Strange Fruit : Plays on Lynching by American Women. Bloomington: Indiana UP, c1998.
Perkins, Kathy A., and Roberta Uno. Contemporary Plays by Women of Color : An Anthology. London : Routledge, 1996.
Trying to find more titles on this topic? Here’s a hint: click on any of the links above, select the “Subjects” tab that appears in the catalog records, and several hyperlinked subjects will appear. Clicking on these subjects will lead you to any other books in the UNC catalog in that category.
So for example, Black South African Women : An Anthology of Plays is listed under the following subject headings:
Interested in reading more South African plays written in English? One option is South African drama (English), which leads to this list of titles. These results can be further refined using the check-boxes on the left-hand side of the screen, for everything from location to format to date of publication, and so forth.