Beauty's Daughter, Monster, The Gimmick: Three Plays

Overview

The sheer exuberance of language that pours forth in Dael Orlandersmith's plays has dazzled critics and audiences alike. In these three pieces, the award-winning writer and performer celebrates the power of words to rescue the young black women she portrays from their constricted worlds.

In the Obie Award-winning play "Beauty's Daughter," Diane yearns to free herself from her soul-deadening surroundings, where people drown their unfulfilled aspirations in drugs and alcohol. In ...

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Beauty's Daughter, Monster, The Gimmick: Three Plays

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Overview

The sheer exuberance of language that pours forth in Dael Orlandersmith's plays has dazzled critics and audiences alike. In these three pieces, the award-winning writer and performer celebrates the power of words to rescue the young black women she portrays from their constricted worlds.

In the Obie Award-winning play "Beauty's Daughter," Diane yearns to free herself from her soul-deadening surroundings, where people drown their unfulfilled aspirations in drugs and alcohol. In "Monster," Theresa imagines a life in the rock-'n'-roll poetry bohemia of Manhattan's Lower East Side and away from her home in East Harlem, where she is scorned as a misfit. And in "The Gimmick," Alexis escapes her brutal reality among the library bookshelves, where she dreams of becoming a writer in Paris. Charged with fearless wisdom, these three electrifying plays transform rage-filled ghetto experience into a triumph of rhapsodic expression.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"There is a tough and necessary beauty in this writing, in these finely-detailed portraits of funny, infuriating, heroic people--. Orlandersmith hears the human need for dignity and justice, for love--. She is critic, witness, and poet."--Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America

"[Orlandersmith's] depictions of the characters in her native East Harlem neighborhood--some broken, some on the way down--are passionate and full of insight."--The New Yorker

"An exciting new voice--of fiery rebellion and lilting lyricism--at once full of anger and compassion."--The New York Times

Library Journal
These three poignant plays by Orlandersmith, a promising African American actress and playwright, include the 1995 Obie Award-winning Beauty's Daughter and two shorter plays, all of which premiered in New York and Princeton, NJ, during 1996-99. The plays, which are based upon Orlandersmith's experience growing up in New York City's East Harlem, reveal the violent, multiracial ghetto life of alcohol, drugs, and sex through the eyes of children, adolescents, and adults as their early hopes and dreams are replaced with raw anger or despair. Orlandersmith is unique in her creative use of short phrasing and references to jazz, blues, rap, and rock'n'roll as background. Reflecting the tempos, actions, and moods of each play, these techniques enhance her poetic style, which makes reading this work a memorable experience. Recommended for modern American drama collections in all academic and public libraries.--Ming-ming Shen Kuo, Ball State Univ. Libs., Muncie, IN Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780375708718
  • Publisher: Knopf Doubleday Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 10/28/2000
  • Series: Vintage Original Series
  • Edition description: 1ST
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 1,044,756
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.00 (h) x 0.56 (d)

Meet the Author

Dael Orlandersmith lives in New York City. She won an Obie award in 1995 for "Beauty's Daughter."
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