Thomas Bradshaw: Southern Promises (2008) now in revival in NYC

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Thomas Bradshaw: Southern Promises (2008) now in revival in NYC

Post by jserraglio » Wed Apr 03, 2019 7:53 am

I read the entire play (50 pp) yesterday in under an hour. It is hands down the most arresting work of fiction about American Southern slavery I have ever encountered. Male, as well as female plantation owners casually rape, torture and sell off their faithful male and female slaves, all the while justifying their behavior by quoting broad swathes of sacred scripture. Besides the graphic sex and violence visited uppn their defenseless slaves, the play, almost Jacobean in its portayal of a social order devoid of any moral compass, features privileged whites engaging in quasi-incestuous marriage, infanticide and murder.

Bradshaw's language is pellucid, and his tone should be bitterly ironic, except that there is, as he has stated, absolutely no subtext to this play. The free white characters exhibit only perversity while the enslaved are depicted as the hapless victims of their master's and mistress's depravity. Bradshaw says that he created his drama after reading a number of slave narratives beginning with The Great Escapes: Four Slave Narratives.

Southern Promises is currently being revived off-off-Broadway. ... eview.html ... rogram.pdf

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