THE GIMMICK tells the story of Alexis and Jimmy, a pair of outsiders who forge a friendship through their shared passion for art. Theirs is a love more powerful than the ghetto gimmicks that devastate much of the Harlem of their youth. When one falls, the bond that has kept them whole threatens to destroy them both. (1 woman.) MY RED HAND, MY BLACK HAND. This play tells the story of one girl's courageous search for belonging and acceptance in the two very distinct cultures that make up her heritage—African-American and Native-American. The play unfolds as the girl describes the past, present and future of her parents' cultures and their fusion into her own. She tells us about the "Red" Tlingit and Lakota parentage of her father, who leaves the reservation to play blues rock in Boston. And the "Black" rural Virginia background of her mother, who goes to Boston seeking the big-city life. Her parents meet at a dance and fall in love, but not without the complications of prejudice from their families. (1 man [Native American], 2 women [1 black, 1 mixed race].) BEAUTY'S DAUGHTER. One woman's journey with many obstacles stacked against her. The heroine or "anti-heroine" can choose to be a victim of the violent cards life has dealt her or she can use her poetry and music as a creative means to deal. The audience sees the character's inability and ultimate ability to deal with other people and triumph in the end. (1 woman.) MONSTER. A violent family history passes from one generation to the next. The narrator, a young woman, uses stories, poetry and characters to introduce and juxtapose situations. Through her powerful eyes we witness violence, friendship, alienation, family love and loyalty. (1 woman.)
"Scorching…terrible and touching…M. Orlandersmith is herself wholly original, a riveting combatant in a story, like all war stories, that stamps her as one who has been there." —NY Times. "[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.