Colored People's Time

by  Leslie Lee

Full Length Play, Drama  /  6m, 3f

"Nothing less than a history of Black America from the eve of the Civil War to the Montgomery bus boycott a century later."

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Colored People's Time

by  Leslie Lee

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  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    6m, 3f
  • Duration

    Duration

    120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Docudrama/Historic
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Suggested Use

    Suggested Use

    • Cutting Approved for Competition
    • Scene work
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult

Additional Info

Through a series of vignettes, Leslie Lee explores the history of Black Americans; from a group of slaves meeting in secret to discuss the Bible just before the Civil War, to a couple debating the Back-To-Africa movement during the Harlem Renaissance, to another couple resting their feet after marching in Montgomery.
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Reviews

"The hero is not a character, but the black spirit for survival - its guts, humor and tenaciousness. " - The New York Times

Considerations

Performing Groups

  • High School/Secondary
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
  • Professional Theatre
  • Blackbox / Second Stage /Fringe Groups

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $75 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: 1950s, 1940s / WWII, 1930s, 1920s, 1910s / WWI, 1900-1910, 19th Century
  • Duration: 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: The play moves through a number of historical time periods, from Mississippi in 1859 to Montgomery, Alabama in 1956.
  • Additional Features: Not Applicable
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Music

  • Musical Style: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Vocal Demands: N/A (Not a musical)
  • Chorus Size: N/A (Not a musical)

Casting

6m, 3f
CATHERING/ADDIE/NADINE/IDA
ISAAC/BLIND JOHN/ABNER/BERT
AARON/RIGGINS/RICHARD 
ALBERTA/CORINA
HANNAH/MARCELLA/BELLE 
CLEMMIE/ALMA 
PROLOGUE/JESSE/BEWITT/BUD/NAT/EPILOGUE 
SAMPSON/C.J./GUS/CURTIS/WALTER 
RIVERBOAT CAPTAIN/ROGER/BERGER/KLAUS
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Cast Attributes

  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Expandable casting
  • Multicultural casting
  • Room for Extras

Casting Notes

Actors play many roles throughout the play.  Casting can also be expanded to allow for more actors.

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Authors

Leslie Lee

For the stage, Leslie Lee is the author of numerous plays that have been produced in New York City and regionally. His plays include: The War Party, Colored People’s Time, Blues in a Broken Tongue, The Rabbit’s Foot; Black Eagles, Hannah Davis; a new version of the musical Golden Boy, in collabor ...

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Colored People's Time was first presented at the Cherry Lane Theatre in New York City in 1982.  The play was presented by The Negro Ensemble Company, Inc.

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