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Mud, River, Stone

Mud, River, Stone
Your Price: $15.95 CDN
Author: Lynn Nottage
Publisher: Dramatists Play Service
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 63
Pub. Date: 1998
ISBN-10: 0822216604
ISBN-13: 9780822216605
Cast Size: 4 women, 3 men

About the Play:

Finalist for the 1998 Susan Smith Blackburn Prize

Mud, River, Stone is a full-length drama by Lynn Nottage. An African-American couple take their second honeymoon in Africa, in an attempt to return to their ancestral roots. When they find themselves hopelessly stranded in what was once a grand hotel, a "white hunter" challenges their pre-conceived notions of the "motherland." Helpless, in a rain-soaked jungle, the couple is forced to explore the true nature of who "owns" and who "belongs" in Africa.

Mud, River, Stone begins with a notion: a romantic journey to Africa, an opportunity to get in touch with spiritual roots. It becomes a most unexpected and bizarre adventure. An African-American couple vacationing in Africa takes a turn off the main highway and find themselves stranded during rainy season in the remnants of a grand hotel. The rundown colonial hotel's only inhabitants are a reticent bellhop and an outspoken white African businessman. As the rains continue, the guest list grows to include a Nigerian aid worker at wits' end and a Belgian adventurer wandering the landscape in search of meaning. The couple's comic and romantic adventure takes on absurd dimensions when the hotel guests are taken hostage by the angry bellhop. His demands are simple: He wants grain for his village and a wool blanket for his mother. The stakes increase when an international mediator arrives and tries to end the stand-off. The couple's relationship is tested by the volatile politics of Africa, and they learn what the hungry human spirit will do for food and a warm blanket.

Mud, River, Stone premiered in 1996 at the Arena Studio Theatre in Buffalo, New York. Since then the play had regional premieres at professional theatres across the US, including off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons in 1997 and has been mounted by colleges and community theatres. It was a finalist for the prestigious Susan Smith Blackburn Prize honouring the best English-language women writers worldwide, and won numerous regional theatre awards.

Cast: 4 women, 3 men

What people say:

"…a brilliant idea for a play…an evening of fascinating insights." — New York Daily News

"Each of Nottage's characters is a rich bundle of ideas and issues, as well as a sharp but sympathetic psychological portrait." — Village Voice

"Playwright Lynn Nottage pulls off a deft bait-and-switch with her new play: She seduces us into believing we're settling into a sardonically funny vacation-from-hell travelogue, then brings in elements that are violent, disturbing and deeply thought provoking." — 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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