Bob Cole (Playwright)
Rosamond Johnson (Playwright)
James Weldon Johnson (Playwright)
3 June – 17 August, 1907
The first African American operetta, a musical in three acts. It is a musical farce set during the time of the Spanish-American War. The first and third act take place at an industrial school for Black people in Alabama, a reference to Booker T. Washington’s Tuskegee Institute, while Manila, in the Philippines, provides the setting for the second. The plot involves a young graduate of the Alabama school, Hunter Wilson, who puts aside a teaching career to come to the defense of his country in the war against Spain. Everyone approves of his bravery and patriotism except his fiancee, rose Maxwell, who, at the end of the first act, returns his ring. Hunter is sent to the Philippines, leads a successful attack on the enemy, and return home to Alabama a hero. Rose agrees to marry him.