Alice Childress

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Alice Childress (October 12, 1916 – August 14, 1994) was an American actress, novelist and playwright. She was called "the only African American woman to have written, produced and published plays for four decades."[1]

Childress was later involved in social causes. She formed an off-Broadway union for actors.[2]

When Childress' stage play Trouble in Mind was produced at Stella Holt's Greenwich Mews Theatre in 1955, it won an Obie Award for best Off-Broadway play in the 1955-56 season. That made Childress the first African American woman to win the honor.[3]

Her next dramatic work, Wedding Band: A Love/Hate Story in Black and White, was completed in 1962. Its setting was South Carolina during World War I. It dealt with a forbidden and interracial love affair. For the scandalous nature of the show and the major realism it had, it was impossible for Childress to get any theater in New York City to stage the play. It wasn't until 1972 that it played in New York at the New York Shakespeare Festival. It was later filmed and shown on television, although many stations didn't want to play it.

Childress was born in Charleston, South Carolina. She later moved to New York. She died there of cancer at age 77.

References[change | change source]

  1. Mullen, Bill; Smethurst, James Edward (2003). Black Women Write the Popular Front. ISBN 9780807854778. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  2. Andrews, William L.; Foster, Frances Smith; Harris, Trudier (15 February 2001). The Concise Oxford Companion to African American Literature. ISBN 978-0-19-803175-8. Retrieved December 11, 2018.
  3. "Childress, Alice". The Black Past. Retrieved December 11, 2018.