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A Free Man of Color

A Free Man of Color
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: John Guare
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 72
Pub. Date: 2014
ISBN-10: 0822227606
ISBN-13: 9780822227601
Cast Size: 6 women, 6 men (doubling)

About the Play:

Finalist for the 2011 Pulitzer Prize in Drama

A Free Man of Color is a full-length comedy by John Guare. Set in New Orleans in 1802, the play concerns Jacques Cornet, a new-world Don Juan and the wealthiest inhabitant of this sexually charged and racially progressive city. All is well in his paradise until history intervenes, setting off a chain of events that no one realizes is about to splinter the world.

A Free Man of Color is set in the boisterous 19th-Century New Orleans culture that existed following the Haitian slave revolts, when the city was more European than American. Before law and order took hold. Before class, racial and political lines were drawn. When New Orleans was still a carnival of beautiful women and good-looking men, flowing wine, and pleasure for the taking. At the center of this Dionysian world is the wealthy freed slave Jacques Cornet, who commands the men, seduces the women, preens like a peacock, and cuts a wide swath through the city and the province. But, it is 1801 and the map of New Orleans is about to be redrawn. The Louisiana Purchase will bring American rule and racial segregation to New Orleans, turning the tables on freedom and liberty, and challenging the chaotic, colourful world of Jacques Cornet and all that he represents. This satirical drama by the award-winning playwright John Guare is a mix of history lesson, Restoration comedy and sex farce.

A Free Man of Color premiered in 2010 on Broadway at the Vivian Beaumont Theater. It was a 2011 finalist for the Pulitzer Prize. While the play is rarely performed professionally, it remains a popular choice for college theatre productions.

Cast: 6 women, 6 men (doubling)

What people say:

"A 10-door farce salted with so many laughs that you won't have time to catch your breath…[until] a terrible denouement described by Mr. Guare in language that approaches the condition of poetry… [A Free Man of Color] just might be a masterpiece." — Wall Street Journal

"Wildly ambitious…like all great, mad manifestos, there are sweet rewards for those willing to take the plunge." — New York Magazine

"A Free Man of Color evolves from a bustling farce into something deeper and darker but similarly exhilarating." — USA Today

"An audacious play spread across a large historical canvas, dealing with serious subjects while retaining a playful intellectual buoyancy." — Pulitzer Prize jury

About the Playwright:

John Guare is an American playwright. He received the Obie, the New York Drama Critics Circle Award and Tony nominations for House of Blue Leaves and Six Degrees of Separation, which also won the Olivier Award for Best Play. He won a Tony for his libretto to Two Gentlemen of Verona, which also won the Tony as Best Musical of 1972. His screenplay for Louis Malle's Atlantic City earned him an Oscar nomination.

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