Full Length Play
Adaptations (Literature), Period
More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
Time Period - American Civil War Era
Settings Of Play - Part 1: Early Spring 1862. A slave cabin in the middle of nowhere. Far West Texas. One hour before dawn.
Part 2: Late Summer 1862. A wooded area in the South. Pretty much in the middle of nowhere.
Part 3: Fall 1863. Far-West Texas. A slave cabin in the middle of nowhere.
FEATURES / CONTAINS
Play w/ Music
Unit Set/Multiple Settings
Mild Adult Themes
Adult, Teen (Age 14 - 18)
Community Theatre, Professional Theatre, Large Stage, Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups
RECOGNITION / AWARDS
WINNER - 2015 Edward M. Kennedy Prize for a theatrical work inspired by American history.
WINNER - 2015 Obie Award for Playwriting NOMINEE - 2015 Lucille Lortel Award - Outstanding Play
FINALIST - 2015 Pulitzer Prize, Drama
Suzan-Lori Parks is the recipient of the 1992 Whiting Award for Drama
Pulitzer Prize & Tony Award winner Suzan-Lori Parks (Topdog/Underdog) delivers the stunning first installment of a new American Odyssey, set over the course of the Civil War.
Offered his freedom if he joins his master in the ranks of the Confederacy, Hero, a slave, must choose whether to leave the woman and people he loves for what may be yet another empty promise. As his decision brings him face-to-face with a nation at war with itself, the loved ones Hero left behind debate whether to escape or wait for his return… only to discover that for Hero, free will may have come at a great spiritual cost. Father Comes Home From The Wars is an explosively powerful drama about the mess of war, the cost of freedom, and the heartbreak of love, with all three parts seen in one night. Part 1 introduces us to Hero, a slave who must choose whether or not to join his master on the Confederate battlefield. In Part 2, a band of rebel soldiers test Hero's loyalty as the cannons approach. Part 3 finds Hero's loved ones anxiously awaiting his return.
A devastatingly beautiful dramatic work filled with music, wit, and great lyricism, Father Comes Home From The Wars is an epic tale about holding on to who we are and what we love in a country that both brings us together and rips us apart from one of America's most powerful writers.
"EXTRAORDINARY! THE BEST NEW PLAY I’VE SEEN ALL YEAR. By turns philosophical and playful, lyrical and earthy, SUZAN LORI-PARKS’S new play SWOOPS, LEAPS, DIVES and SOARS across three ENDLESSLY STIMULATING hours, reimagining a turbulent turning point in American history through a cockeyed contemporary lens. THE FINEST WORK YET FROM THIS GIFTED WRITER...The WONDER of MS. PARKS’s achievement is how smoothly she blends the high and the low, the serious and the humorous, the melodramatic and the grittily realistic. At once an epic poem, a moving personal drama about one man’s soul struggle, and a seriocomic mediation on liberty, loyalty and identity" - The New York Times, Read More
"THRILLING! A MASTERPIECE. Heartbreakingly individual, in just the way that history itself is...SUZAN-LORI PARKS EXQUISITELY twists the plot. She makes us feel as if we are seeing the dreadful dilemmas not just of slavery but of emancipation for the first time." - New York Magazine, Read More
"Grade A...STUNNING. That RARE WORK OF ART that bears the heavy burden of its subject matter, but carries it lightly...SUZAN-LORI PARKS brings the FULL FORCE of her DRAMATIC POWER. She elevates her themes with echoes of classic literature while at the same time DOUBLING DOWN ON COMEDY" - Entertainment Weekly, Read More
"PROVOCATIVE, RICH and IRREVERENTLY FUNNY." - New York Post, Read More
"BRILLIANT, BEAUTIFUL & STUNNING...This HAUNTING work is FUNNY and TRAGIC, WHIMSICAL and LACERATING, POETIC and POIGNANT, navigating its radical tonal shifts with FLUIDITY and GRACE. It plugs historical experience directly into the socket of contemporary life." - The Hollywood Reporter, Read More
"TRIUMPHANT! Overloaded with SOARING LANUGAGE and PROVOCATIVE DEBATE." - Huffington Post, Read More
RELATED ARTICLES ON BREAKING CHARACTER
Suzan-Lori Parks’ FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS Wins Kennedy Prize
by Courtney Kochuba
February 24, 2015
Suzan-Lori Parks’ FATHER COMES HOME… Named Pulitzer Finalist
by Courtney Kochuba
April 20, 2015
The Shift of Cultural Conversation: FATHER COMES HOME FROM THE WARS
by Ben Coleman
August 11, 2016
Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) was developed at the Public Theater Lab in 2009, and the play received its premiere production in 2014 at The Public Theater, under the direction of Jo Bonney.