|A Soldier's Play - Opens Feb. 5|
Directed by Marilyn Yoblick
The first production of the new year at The Stagecrafters theater is the riveting mystery-thriller, "A Soldier’s Play" by Charles Fuller. The action deals with the investigation of the murder of a black sergeant at an army base in Louisiana in 1944 during World War II. As the inquiry into the circumstances surrounding the killing proceeds, the psychological complexities of the case come to the forefront, and easy stereotypical judgments become questionable and are, one-by-one, refuted. The play, which is flawlessly structured as a classic whodunit, provides a mesmerizing narrative and delivers at the same time a scorching commentary on ingrained bigotry, racism, and social injustice. Critic Frank Rich (N.Y. Times) noted that Fuller’s writing “... speaks to both blacks and whites without patronizing either [and embraces] volatile contradictions... to arrive at the shattering truth.”
Charles Fuller, born in Philadelphia in 1939, earned the D.F.A. degree at La Salle University in 1967 and co-founded the Afro-American Arts Theatre that same year in Philadelphia. In 1971 Fuller moved to New York City and, over the following decade with the Negro Ensemble Company, wrote and produced, among several plays, one of which, Zooman and the Sign (1980), won an Obie award. A Soldier’s Play, which opened at Manhattan’s Theatre Four in 1981, featured Adolph Caesar, Denzel Washington, and Samuel L. Jackson. A huge critical and popular success, it won Fuller the 1982 Pulitzer Prize for drama and the New York Drama Critics Award. He also adapted his script to the 1984 film, A Soldier’s Story, which won him the Edgar Award for Best Mystery Film Screenplay. After some twenty-five years the play indeed retains its power to engage theatergoers and to hold them spellbound.
★ Gripping • Shocking • Unforgettable ★