Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

by  Suzan-Lori Parks

Full Length Play, Drama  /  8m, 2f

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.
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Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

by  Suzan-Lori Parks

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Father Comes Home From the Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3

  • Cast Size

    Cast Size

    8m, 2f
  • Duration

    Duration

    More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • SubGenre

    Subgenre

    Adaptations (Literature), Period
  • Accolades

    Accolades

    From Off-Broadway
  • Audience

    Target Audience

    • Adult
    • Teen (Age 14 - 18)

Additional Info

Pulitzer Prize and Tony Award-winner Suzan-Lori Parks 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. 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.

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Accolades

  • 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 for Drama 

    Suzan-Lori Parks is the recipient of the 1992 Whiting Award for Drama

Reviews

REVIEWS

"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 language and provocative debate." - The 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

Videos

  • Father Comes Home from the Wars Trailer
  • Suzan-Lori Parks and Oskar Eustis Interview
More videos +

Considerations

Performing Groups

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

Cautions

  • Caution Mild Adult Mild Adult Themes

License details

  • Minimum Fee: $100 per performance

Production

Details

  • Time Period: American Civil War Era
  • Duration: More than 120 minutes (2 hours)
  • Setting: 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.
  • Additional Features: Play w/ Music
  • Features / Contains: Period Costumes

Casting

8m, 2f
PART ONE
The CHORUS of Less Than Desirable Slaves:
LEADER
SECOND
THIRD
FOURTH
THE OLDEST OLD MAN
HERO
PENNY
HOMER

PART TWO
A COLONEL - in the Rebel Army
SMITH - a captive Union Soldier
HERO - the Colonel’s Slave

PART THREE
THE RUNAWAY SLAVES
HOMER
PENNY
ODYSSEY DOG
ULYSSES
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Cast Attributes

  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
  • Ensemble cast
  • Reduced casting (Doubling Possible)
  • Flexible casting
  • Multicultural casting
  • Strong Role for Leading Man (Star Vehicle)

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Authors

Suzan-Lori Parks

Named one of TIME magazine’s “100 Innovators for the Next New Wave,” in 2002 Suzan-Lori Parks became the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize in Drama for her Broadway hit TOPDOG/UNDERDOG. A MacArthur “Genius” Award recipient, she has also been awarded grants by the National Endowment for the A ...

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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. 

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