Public Engagement

General Public

A Reading of Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry

Monday, October 21, 2013 at 6:30 pm

Wollman Hall, Eugene Lang College 65 West 11th Street Room B500, New York, NY 10003

The New School for Drama and On Her Shoulders in association with New Perspectives Theatre Company presents a reading of Les Blancs by Lorraine Hansberry.

The reading will be directed by Pat Golden, dramaturgy by Andrea Lepcio, and guest speaker Michael Dinwiddie.

Lorraine Hansberry's last play takes us to an Africa she never visited. Produced posthumously by her husband, Les Blancs was proclaimed by the New York Times as "Incredibly moving... towering, magnificent" and was named Best American play of 1970. In, a fictional East African country on the verge of revolution, the legacy of white colonialism comes head to head with the growing movement for black liberation and independence. Tshembe Matoseh, the English educated son of a chief, has come home to bury his father. He finds his teenage brother a near alcoholic and his older brother a priest and traitor to his people. At the same time Charlie, an American journalist, arrives to report on the local missionary hospital and its workers. Forswearing politics and wanting only to return to his wife and child in England, Tshembe is drawn into the conflict symbolized by a woman dancer, the powerful Spirit of Africa who pursues him. When peaceful negotiations break down, and violence erupts, each brother is forced to choose where his loyalties lie.

Michael Dinwiddie (Guest Speaker) is an associate professor at the Gallatin School, NYU, where he teaches courses in dramatic writing, cultural studies, and African American theatre. He holds an M.F.A. in Dramatic Writing from the Tisch School of the Arts, and has been a playwright- in-residence at Michigan State, Florida A&M and St. Louis Universities. His plays have been produced in New York, regional and educational theatre, and include The Beautiful LaSalles, A Guest of Honor, Dacha, Masque, Hannibal of the Alps, Original Rags and Northern Lights: 1966. An Inaugural Fellow at Touchstone Pictures in the Walt Disney Writers Program, he worked as a staff writer on the ABC-TV hit series Hangin’ With Mr. Cooper. From 2007-2010 Michael was a TONY Nominator, and he is the recipient of a National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) Playwriting Fellowship and the Distinguished Teaching Award Medal at NYU. He currently serves as President of the Black Theatre Network (BTN), the preeminent organization of scholars, students, artists and educators dedicated to the study and promulgation of African, Caribbean and African American drama.)

On Her Shoulders was founded in 2012 to present staged readings of plays by women from across the spectrum of time and place, with contemporary dramaturgs contextualizing--and in some cases adapting-- them for modern audiences. The program seeks to make it impossible to deny or ignore the great tradition and value of women's contribution to the theatrical canon. On Her Shoulders intends to motivate producers and directors to champion and produce these plays in New York and regionally, and to incite audiences to demand to see them.

Free and open to the public, reservations strongly recommended by emailing

Event Type

Theater Performances


General Public


Performing Arts


School of Drama



Additional Details

Doors open at 6:30 p.m. for a 6:45 p.m. curtain.

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By Train:
The 4, 5, 6, N, R, Q and L to 14th St./Union Square.
The A, C and E to 14th St. and 8th Ave.
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