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Ohio State Murders

Ohio State Murders
Your Price: $17.95 CDN
Author: Ohio State Murders
Publisher: Samuel French (cover image may change)
Format: Softcover
# of Pages: 38
Pub. Date: 2021
ISBN-10: 0573662355
ISBN-13: 9780573662355
Cast Size: 4 female, 2 male

About the Play:

Ohio State Murders is a full-length thriller by Adrienne Kennedy. This haunting, provocative mystery – the Broadway debut of legendary playwright Adrienne Kennedy – concerns a famous writer who returns to her alma mater to finally reveal the truth of what happened when she was a student there.

Ohio State Murders explores the experiences of Suzanne Alexander, a fictional Black writer whose life both is, and is not, like her author's. When Suzanne arrives at Ohio State University in 1949 as one of a handful of Black freshmen, she discovers the supposed "safe haven" of academia offers little sanctuary. Decades later, the accomplished writer returns to the university as a guest speaker, in which she explores the violence in her writing. A dark mystery unravels the heartbreaking truth and chilling mystery of her life lived in the shadows. Adrienne Kennedy's Ohio State Murders is an intriguing and unusual suspense play, as well as a social pertinent look at the destructiveness of racism in our society.

Ohio State Murders was first performed in 1991 at Yale Repertory Theatre, the internationally celebrated professional theater in residence at Yale School of Drama in New Haven, Connecticut. It then premiered in 1992 at Cleveland's Great Lakes Theater Festival. In 2007, Theatre for a New Audience premiered the play off-Broadway at The Duke on 42nd Street. It opened on Broadway in 2022 as the first production in the restored James Earl Jones Theatre and marked the playwright's Broadway debut at the age of 91.

Cast: 4 female, 2 male

What people say:

"Much of the pleasure of the play derives from Ms. Kennedy's elliptical narrative form, which generates a good share of old-fashioned, nail-biting suspense." — The New York Times

"Part murder mystery, part memoir, this one-act drama leads us delicately but intrepidly into an American heart of darkness." — CurtainUp

"Adrienne Kennedy's Ohio State Murders could almost be mistaken for simple storytelling. A woman rises from a table, and for 55 minutes she recalls a vicious, race-related crime she endured 50 years ago. Ghosts of the past move around her, but she stands in the present, safe and free. Or so it seems. However, then and now fuse together, and the dream-like result is not a mere monologue, but a complex drama." — Variety

About the Playwright:

Adrienne Kennedy is an African-American playwright, lecturer, and author. A seminal writer of the Black Arts Movement, she has been a force in American theatre since the early 1960s. She is a three-time Obie-award winning playwright whose works have been widely performed and anthologized. A recipient of the American Academy of Arts and Letters award and the Guggenheim fellowship, among many other awards, she has been a visiting professor at Yale, Princeton, Brown, the University of California at Berkeley, and Harvard. She was inducted into The Theater Hall of Fame in 2018.

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