edited by Chuck Smith
contributions by Jeff Stetson, Lydia R. Diamond, Gloria Bond-Clunie, Javon Johnson, Reginald Lawrence, Christopher Moore and Charles Smith
by Columbia College Chicago
foreword by August Wilson
Northwestern University Press, 2004
Paper: 978-0-8101-2045-7
Library of Congress Classification PS628.N4S485 2004
Dewey Decimal Classification 812.54080896073

Awarded annually since 1987, the Theodore Ward Prize recognizes the outstanding individual accomplishments of African American playwrights, as well as their growing importance to the shape and direction of American drama in our time. This collection, edited by a director and educator who has been affiliated with the contest for fifteen of its seventeen years, showcases a selection of the award-winning plays and offers a rich and varied view of the best of two decades of evolving African American drama.

These seven plays, which span the Ward Prize's history, represent a wide range of talents, experience, and perspectives brought to bear on diverse themes, from a unique moment in the history of baseball's Negro League to a working-class couple contending with a neighborhood bully; from a child's memories of negotiating desegregation to coming of age amidst the ravages of racism, child abuse, and AIDS. By turns poetic and moving, brave and rousing, uproarious and unsettling, these works written by established and emerging playwrights allow actors, directors, theatergoers, and readers to sample the multifarious dramatic experience being limned by African American playwrights today.