A SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. TITLE

The Amen Corner

James Baldwin

Full Length Play, Drama  /  9f, 5m

After giving a fiery Sunday morning sermon, Margaret is confronted by the unexpected arrival of her long estranged husband, Luke, who collapses from illness shortly thereafter. Their son, David, along with several elders of the congregation, learn from Luke that, while Margaret had led everyone to believe that he had abandoned her with their son years ago, it was in fact Margaret who had left a dysfunctional Luke and pursued a religious life. This information precipitates confrontations between Margaret and her son, her congregation, and her estranged husband, regarding what they perceive as the hypocritical nature of her religious convictions, and the breakup of her family...

The Amen Corner

by  James Baldwin

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OVERVIEW

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    9f, 5m
  • SubGenre
    Subgenre
    Faith-based
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    • Adult
Description
After giving a fiery Sunday morning sermon, Margaret is confronted by the unexpected arrival of her long estranged husband, Luke, who collapses from illness shortly thereafter. Their son, David, along with several elders of the congregation, learn from Luke that, while Margaret had led everyone to believe that he had abandoned her with their son years ago, it was in fact Margaret who had left a dysfunctional Luke and pursued a religious life. This information precipitates confrontations between Margaret and her son, her congregation, and her estranged husband, regarding what they perceive as the hypocritical nature of her religious convictions, and the breakup of her family. After an important conversation with his dying father, David informs Margaret that he is leaving home to pursue his calling as a jazz musician. On his deathbed, Luke declares to Margaret that he has always loved her, and that she should not have left him. Finally, Margaret’s congregation decides to oust her, based on their perception that she unjustly ruined her own family in the name of religion. Only after losing her son, her husband, and her congregation, does Margaret finally realize that she should not have used religion as an excuse to escape the struggles of life and love, but that ‘‘To love the Lord is to love all His children—all of them, everyone!—and suffer with them and rejoice with them and never count the cost!’’

Considerations

Performing Groups
  • College Theatre / Student
  • Community Theatre
Cautions
  • Mild Adult Themes

Licence details

  • Minimum Fee: £69 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Specifics

Details

  • Time Period: Contemporary
  • Setting: The church and home of Margaret Alexander in Harlem.

Casting

9f, 5m
Cast Attributes
  • Role(s) for Black Actor(s)
MARGARET ALEXANDER - Pastor of the church
ODESSA - Margaret's older sister
IDA JACKSON - a young woman
SISTER MOORE - elder of the church
SISTER BOXER - elder of the church
BROTHER BOXER - elder of the church
DAVID - Margartet's 18 year-old son
LUKE - her husband
SISTER SALLY - member of the congregation
SISTER DOUGLAS - member of the congregation
SISTER RICE - member of the congregation
BROTHER DAVIS - member of the congregation
BROTHER WASHINGTON - member of the congregation
WOMAN
OTHER MEMBERS OF THE CONGREGATION

Materials

Scripts

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Authors

James Baldwin

James Arthur Baldwin was born in Harlem, New York City, on Aug. 2, 1924 and died on Nov. 30, 1987. He offered a vital literary voice during the era of civil rights activism in the 1950s and '60s. The eldest of nine children, his stepfather was a minister. At age 14, Baldwin became a preacher at the ...

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