Confederates

A SAMUEL FRENCH, INC. TITLE

Confederates

Full-Length Play, Drama  /  4w, 1m

Two Black American women – an enslaved rebel and a professor at a contemporary university – are having parallel experiences of institutional racism, though they live over a century apart. Tony-nominated playwright Dominique Morisseau's exacting new play explores the reins that racial and gender bias still hold over American educational systems today.

Image: 2022 Signature Theatre Company Production (Monique Carboni)

  • Cast Size
    Cast Size
    4w, 1m
  • Duration
    Duration
    90 minutes
  • Suggested Use
    • Scene work
  • Audience
    Target Audience
    Adult

Details

Summary

Sara, an enslaved rebel turned Union spy, and Sandra, a tenured professor in a modern-day private university, are having parallel experiences of institutional racism, though they live over a century apart. Confederates leaps through time to trace the identities of these two Black American women and explore the reins that racial and gender bias still hold on American educational systems today.

History
Confederates premiered off-Broadway in March 2022 at Signature Theatre under the direction of Stori Ayers.

SANDRA – Black woman, late 30’s, early 40’s. Scholar, Professor of Political Science, practical, sturdy, compassionate with students, protected with her own emotions, and a striving spirit in the face of institutional racism.
SARA – Black woman, early 20’s. Tenacious, spunky, tough and resilient. A slave woman with a fighting spirit, unwilling to be broken by her circumstances. Crafty and a sharp, witty tongue. Slowly becoming a Union Spy.

ABNER/MALIK: (Doubled Role)
(1) ABNER – Black man, early 20’s. Energetic and driven. A bit stubborn but strong-willed. A runaway slave and soldier for the Union. Brother of SARA. Loves his sister fiercely.
(2) MALIK – Black man, early 20’s. Studious and focused on his education. Driven and intellectually stimulating. A student of SANDRA’s who tries to carefully navigate her status over his.

MISSY SUE/CANDICE: (Doubled Role)
(1) MISSY SUE – White woman, late 30’s, early 40’s. Spirited, driven, a strong sense of duty and mission. Somewhat oblivious. Emotionally free and open. Daughter of SARA’s Master. SARA’s former childhood friend.
(2) CANDICE – White woman, mid 20’s. Loquacious, intellectually curious, and uncensored in her ideas. Can be misinterpreted as insensitive but is likely unaware. Emotionally free and open. Student and Assistant to SANDRA.

LUANNE/JADE: (Doubled Role)
(1) LUANNE – Black woman, early 20’s. Curious, eager, and inquisitive. A fellow slave with SARA who has been afforded privileges Sara has not. In an affair with the Master. Pushing for kinship with SARA.
(2) JADE – Black woman, late 30’s, early 40’s. Straight shooter, unafraid of confrontation, down-to-earth. Fellow professor and colleague to SANDRA. Navigates institutional racism more directly than SANDRA.
  • Time Period Contemporary, American Civil War Era
  • Setting A modern-day university. A plantation.
  • Features Contemporary Costumes / Street Clothes, Period Costumes
  • Additional Features No intermission
  • Duration 90 minutes
  • Cautions
    • Alcohol
    • Strong Language
    • Mild Adult Themes

Media

“Beautiful language that’s wedded to tales of adversity — the play is full of such paradoxes... a work about racism that is truly funny.” – The New York Times

“A master at weaving together personal, historical, and social narratives, Morisseau here delivers her most ambitious, possibly most galvanizing, work yet.” – Theatrely

“Morisseau’s voice gets fiercer and richer the farther she gets from naturalism. Her sharp humor and flensing rhetoric, familiar from her public letters and program notes, finally get to exert their full power onstage.” – Vulture

“From sequence to sequence through the 1860s and the currently ambivalent early 21st-century, Morisseau deals with blatantly racist issues, not missing many.” – New York Stage Review

“[Morisseau's] thought-provoking play is sometimes deadly earnest and sometimes surprisingly (but intentionally) hilarious.” – Theater Life

Videos

  • Dominique Morisseau on CONFEDERATES youtube thumbnail

    Dominique Morisseau on CONFEDERATES

  • Confederates Trailer for OSF 2022 Season youtube thumbnail

    Confederates Trailer for OSF 2022 Season

Photos

  • Confederates

    Image: 2022 Signature Theatre Company Production (Monique Carboni)

  • Confederates

    Image: 2022 Signature Theatre Company Production (Monique Carboni)

Licensing & Materials

  • Minimum Fee: £70 per performance plus VAT when applicable.

Scripts

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Authors

Dominique Morisseau

Dominique Morisseau is the author of The Detroit Project (A 3-Play Cycle), which includes the following plays: Skeleton Crew (Atlantic Theater Company), Paradise Blue (Signature Theatre), and Detroit ’67 (Public Theater, Classical Theatre of Harlem and NBT). Additional plays ...

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