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By the Way, Meet Vera Stark

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Lynn Nottage
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service (cover may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 64
Pub. Date: 2013
Edition: Acting
ISBN-10: 0822226464
ISBN-13: 9780822226468
Cast Size: 4 female, 3 male (doubling)

About the Play:

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is a full-length comedy by Lynn Nottage. Vera Stark, an African American actress, begins a career in the 1930s, at a time when her only shot at success lay in stealing small scenes in big Hollywood blockbusters. Her eventual fame and fortune came at the price of perpetuating dangerous stereotypes. Hilarious and poignant, By the Way, Meet Vera Stark is a fast-paced, sly satire, which is a seventy-year journey through Vera's life and the cultural climate that originally shaped her and continues today.

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark draws upon the screwball films of the 1930s to take a funny and irreverent look at racial stereotypes in Hollywood. It's the Golden Age of Hollywood, and the streets of Los Angeles teem with aspiring starlets. The fictional Vera Stark is a headstrong African-American aspiring starlet working as a maid to "America's Sweetie Pie," Gloria Mitchell, an aging white star desperately grasping to hold on to her fading career. Worlds collide when Vera lands a trailblazing role in a Southern-set film epic in the studio-system days of Hollywood starring… her boss. While Vera's portrayal of a slave turns Hollywood on its head and paves the way for future generations of Black actresses, decades later scholars and film buffs still wrestle with the life and legacy of this controversial star, for whom fame and fortune could only be achieved by joining the apparatus of a deeply racist industry. Two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage paints a vivid picture of the cultural climate that shaped this mysterious screen queen – and wonders who, in another time, she might have been.

By the Way, Meet Vera Stark premiered in 2011 at Second Stage Theatre off-Broadway in New York City. The West Coast premiere was in 2012 at the Geffen Playhouse in Los Angeles. Since then the play has been produced widely at professional theatres across the US and has been mounted by colleges and community theatres.

Cast: 4 female, 3 male (doubling)

What people say:

"That this show is so informed and incisive while being wildly entertaining may be Nottage's biggest achievement here: In a way, she's beaten Hollywood at its own game." — New York Post

"A satisfying screwball comedy in which Nottage uses stereotypes to expose them, tapping into a current of rueful emotion beneath the surface." — Vogue

"[Lynn Nottage's] play has fangs. It gnaws at racial typecasting and at smarty-pants who build myths and think they understand all there is to know about someone by reviewing films." — New York Daily News

"By the Way, Meet Vera Stark breezes by with the playfulness of a Russian nesting doll, each image reflecting on the previous ones while entertaining on its own." — New York Newsday

About the Playwright:

Lynn Nottage is an African-American playwright and screenwriter whose work often deals with the lives of African Americans and women. She is a graduate of Brown University and the Yale School of Drama, and is also an Associate Professor in the Theatre Department at Columbia School of the Arts. Her plays have been produced widely in the United States and throughout the world. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for Ruined and for Sweat, making her the first woman to win the prestigious award twice.

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