INFO   ︎

Big White Fog

Poster for Big White Fog, 1938

Theodore Ward (Playwright)

22 October, 1940 (64 performances)

Originally produced by the Federal Theatre Project in Chicago, “the play re-opened Off-Broadway in 1940 at Harlem's Lincoln Theatre as the inaugural production of Ward's new collaborative project, the Negro Playwrights Company, a theatrical organization born out of the burgeoning culture of the Harlem Renaissance and featuring such up-and-comers as Wright, Paul Robeson, Langston Hughes, Powell Lindsay, and Edna Thomas among others. Although both critics and Ward's contemporaries celebrated the work for its somber realism and politically relevant tone, the general public disapproved of its heavy-handed leftist rhetoric and, as a result, Big White Fog closed after only sixty-four performances, taking the still fledgling Negro Playwrights Company down in its wake.” (Source: Wikipedia)

“The play follows the fictional Mason family across three generations between 1922 and 1933. Half of the family supports a return to Africa and Garveyism, while the other half of the family seeks the American Dream. Big White Fog demonstrates the internal black tensions of the 1920s by following the Masons, a black family living in a rented house in Chicago. The residents consist of Victor Mason, his wife Ella, their son Lester, Victor's brother Percy, and Ella's brother-in-law Dan. Lester has received a college scholarship, Percy is returning home from military service, and Dan is a landlord. Their situation slowly spirals downward, with Lester losing his scholarship because he is black, and when the Great Depression hits, the family faces eviction. Victor, in his disillusionment, turns to Garveyism, and plans to immigrate to Africa. Lester begins to support a Communist revolution. Dan remains committed to the American Dream.” (Source: Wikipedia)

INDEX     ︎BACK     NEXT︎