Songs of the Harlem River
Forgotten One Acts of the Harlem Renaissance
Short plays written by Ralf M. Coleman, Willis Richardson, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Marita Bonner, and Eulalie Spence
Directed by Darius Johnson ‘18
Produced by Brandi Moore ’19, Humphrey Obuobi ’18, and Kelcee Everette ‘18
Run time: 1 hour, 30 minutes with no intermission.
Songs of the Harlem River is an adapted performance that combines 5 short one-scene plays from the Harlem Renaissance which cover a diversity of social topics from the era that we believe are important currently. For example, Deacon’s Awakening tells the story of two young Black women who face paternal admonishment for joining a Women’s Suffrage group during the dawn of the 19th amendment. The Girl from Back Home explores the dynamic intersections of disappointment, marriage, and polygamy through the relationship between a Black woman who wants to value marriage and a Black man who struggles to accept that same desire in himself. Other themes include institutionalized Black death, misogynoir, and mental/physical health in the Black Community. Our hope is that these shorts plays, in combination, will provide a holistic lens through which students and community can further appreciate the role of Black Culture in forming the Harlem Renaissance, and also see how this art helps us to interrogate our own contemporary views, biases, and cultures.