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The sheer exuberance of language that pours forth in Dael Orlandersmith's plays has dazzled critics and audiences alike. In these three pieces, the award-winning writer and performer celebrates the power of words to rescue the young black women she portrays from their constricted worlds.
In the Obie Award-winning play "Beauty's Daughter," Diane yearns to free herself from her soul-deadening surroundings, where people drown their unfulfilled aspirations in drugs and alcohol. In "Monster," Theresa imagines a life in the rock-'n'-roll poetry bohemia of Manhattan's Lower East Side and away from her home in East Harlem, where she is scorned as a misfit. And in "The Gimmick," Alexis escapes her brutal reality among the library bookshelves, where she dreams of becoming a writer in Paris. Charged with fearless wisdom, these three electrifying plays transform rage-filled ghetto experience into a triumph of rhapsodic expression.
"There is a tough and necessary beauty in this writing, in these finely-detailed portraits of funny, infuriating, heroic people... Orlandersmith hears the human need for dignity and justice, for love--. She is critic, witness, and poet."—Tony Kushner, Pulitzer Prize-winning author of Angels in America
"[Orlandersmith's] depictions of the characters in her native East Harlem neighborhood—some broken, some on the way down—are passionate and full of insight."—The New Yorker
"An exciting new voice—of fiery rebellion and lilting lyricism—at once full of anger and compassion."—The New York Times