PCS Blog

Free Staged Reading: “Home” by Samm-Art Williams

Posted by Alice Hodge | 01 June 2015

Monday, June 15 | 7:00 p.m. | FREE

Home, a play by Samm-Art Williams, will receive a staged reading produced by Passin’Art Theater and the Education & Community Programs Department of Portland Center Stage with support from Project1Voice and a post-show discussion produced by the Urban League of Portland Young Professionals.

Project 1Voice is a national performing arts service organization dedicated to strengthening and promoting African American theater and playwrights. Every year on the third Monday in June, theaters and institutions all over the world participate by presenting classic, renowned African American plays.

This performance is free and starts at 7:00 pm in the Ellyn Bye Studio.  A panel discussion "The meaning of home for communities of color in a colorblind era" will immediately follow." Non-perishable food donations will be solicited to benefit PSU Food Bank.


About Home

Home is a brilliantly inventive, lyrically expressive play that deals joyfully with the coming of age of a young black man from rural South Carolina. The action begins on the small farm in South Carolina that Cephus Miles, an orphan, has inherited from his family. Young and strong, he is content to work the land—until his childhood sweetheart rejects him and goes off to college. Not believing in the Vietnam War, Cephus is imprisoned as a draft evader for refusing to serve. By the time he is released, Cephus has lost his land to the tax collector so he heads north to build a new life. With a good job and a slinky new girlfriend, he finds the big city exciting and rewarding. But soon after, the dream begins to fade—Cephus loses his job and becomes involved in drugs and prostitution. Pulling himself together, he returns to South Carolina and settles back on the land with his old sweetheart. Despite all, he has never lost his joyous goodwill, his indomitable spirit and the conviction that one day his quest for fulfillment will be rewarded.

 About the playwright Samm-Art Williams
Samm-Art Williams was born in Burgaw, North Carolina. He is an American playwright and screenwriter, and a stage and film/TV actor. He entered New York City theater as an actor in 1973, performing with New York's famed Negro Ensemble Company. Much of his work as writer concerns the African-American experience. He was nominated for a Tony Award and a Drama Desk Award for his play Home (1979), which moved from the Negro Ensemble Company to a Broadway production in 1980. Among his television credits Williams wrote the PBS productions Kneeslappers and Experiment in Freedom; episodes for the series Cagney and Lacey, The New Mike Hammer, Miami Vice and The Fresh Prince of Bel Air and the NBC special Motown Returns to the Apollo (1986), among other work. He received two Emmy nominations for his work for TV series. Among his other plays are The Dance on Widows' Row, The Waiting Room and Montford Point Marin.

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