Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist

by  Thomas Bradshaw

Full Length Play, Drama  /  5m, 2f

Winner! The American Theater Coop's National Playwriting Contest in 2005.

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Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist

by  Thomas Bradshaw

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    5m, 2f
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Experimental, Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Inspired by a true story, Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist is an absurdist look at the life of Senator Strom Thurmond. After fathering a child with his black maid as a young man, the extremely white Strom Thurmond became one of the country's greatest segregationists; all the while playing daddy to his bi-racial daughter Essie Mae Washington Williams. How could someone live such a duplicitous life? It happens.

This play contains mature language and situations.

Published with Cleansed.

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Accolades

  • Winner! The American Theater Coop's National Playwriting Contest in 2005

Reviews

"Perhaps your average night at the theater doesn't include screams of 'Nigger Monkey's' and 'Black skinned beasts!' but Thomas Bradshaw's does. The playwright-provocateur presents a wickedly shocking double bull that unapologetically flaunts racial conflict....Bradshaw doesn't deliver a normal night out, but his outrages are worth every second of discomfort." - Time Out New York

"Tom Bradshaw's most important contribution to society is snatching narrative and its elements back from the clutches of the ordinary" - Richard Maxwell, Playwright and Director

"Bradshaw has a positive genius for explosive imagery, putting biracial Lauraul in a Klan costume and penning a demonic parody of Martin Luther King's "I Have A Dream" speech for Strom Thurmond....Bradshaw has a deep dramatic and linguistic intelligence." - Village Voice

"These uncomfortably intense plays focus on racism in our society, from the Dixiecrats of the south to the confused generation of today.... The intensity that Bradshaw intended came through tenfold." - New York Cool

"Thomas Bradshaw is sometimes billed as a playwright/provocateur. In actuality, he is a playwright/academic.... The provocateur comes from the fact that he is a black author who often holds a blinding spotlight on the issues of race and black identity in this country. His work is characterized by an unflinching concentration on the fundamental effects of racism on black self worth.... Strom Thurmond is Not a Racist/Cleansed is a provocative, gripping, and unsettling evening." - New York City Onstage

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Large Stage
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Intense Adult Intense Adult Themes
  • Caution Strong Language Strong Language

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: New Millennium/21st Century, 1930s, 1920s, 1990s, 1980s, 1970s, 1960s, 1950s, 1940s / WWII
  • Setting: The setting is South Carolina and Washington D.C. 

Casting

5m, 2f

STROM THURMOND - A Segregationist Politician
CARRIE BUTLER - The Thurmond Family's Black Maid
ESSIE MAE WASHINGTON WILLIAMS: Carrie & Strom's illegitimate biracial daughter
STROM'S FATHER
TRENT LOTT - A United States Senator
INTERVIEWER
AIDE

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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)

Casting Notes

The play can be double cast so that only three actors are needed: One actor to play Strom Thurmond, One actress to play Carrie Butler and Essie Mae Washington Williams, and One actor to play Strom's Father, Trent Lott, Interviewer, and Aide. 

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Authors

Thomas Bradshaw

Thomas Bradshaw's plays have been produced at regional theaters, in NYC as as well as in Europe. In 2012, the Flea Theater successfully produced his play Job and in 2011, his play Burning ran to rave reviews at the New Group/NYC and the Goodman Theater produced his play Mary, ...

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Strom Thurmond Is Not A Racist was first produced in a workshop production at Walker Space in Manhattan in August of 2005. The premiere production took plact at The Brice Thater from February 8 - March 3rd, 2007 by The Immediate Theater Company. 

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