In the News

The Edward M. Kennedy Prize is for a theatrical work inspired by American history.
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Like any show with a stellar opening, Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) makes you want to see the rest of volumes in the series; it’s that good.
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The American Repertory Theater in Cambridge continues its commemoration of the 150th anniversary of the Civil War with Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks' new trilogy, Father Comes Home From The Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3), a co-production with The Public Theater in New York. Inspired by Homer's Odyssey, it centers on Hero, a slave who journeys from his plantation in Texas to the battleground and back again, to face a changed world as a changed man. Incorporating themes of love and betrayal, the price of freedom, and the worth of a man, the ambitious play offers insight into conditions for slaves in 1862 on the cusp of the signing of the Emancipation Proclamation.
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Father Comes Home From The Wars, Parts 1, 2 & 3 is having its world premiere at the American Rep Theater in Cambridge. It’s a soul-searing, deeply insightful work, the first of three parts of an epic new play by Pulitzer Prize-winner Suzan-Lori Parks that cuts to the quick of the black experience in America.
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Plays of this much intensity and focus demand total attention, and reward one with kaleidoscopic satisfaction; the more you reflect on what you've seen and heard, the more you find meanings, jokes, and intriguing connections.
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The Epic Begins: Suzan-Lori Parks Traces The Legacy Of Slavery And The Civil War At A.R.T.
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It’s not every play with major social themes like this one that could metaphorically mix the classical with the clowning as successfully as this work, and it’s not every playwright who could carry this off with such fearless focus and energy. Parks knows her sources well and utilizes them with all the aplomb and dexterity of a master juggler with a firm eye on the jugular. Pity the temerity of a theatergoer who’s unwilling or unable to surrender to the almost-lost art of storytelling at its purist.
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Grappling with a series of moral issues – between races, between spouses, between friends -- during the Civil War, "Father Comes Home" is gripping and tense, throwing an ugly past up in our 21st-century faces.
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Even after three hours of watching on Wednesday, I was ready to see more. That’s the mark of a good story.
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"We have to reframe this. We can’t allow people who have told the story incorrectly or have left out important details [to] win the day. Sometimes, we have to go back in and say … ‘This is a little more complex.’”
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