Dramaturg’s Note: Childress in the Wilderness
Posted on: May 20, 2021
Struggling artist Bill Jameson is working on his masterpiece, a triptych representing the different aspects of Black womanhood.
He has completed his first panel illustrating innocent girlhood and his central panel depicting a regal African queen. As he embarks on the final panel—the unappealing, lost, down-on-her luck woman—in walks Tommy Marie, who looks like the perfect model. But once he gets to know Tommy further, Bill starts to wonder: is there more to the feminine ideal than meets the eye?
The first ever performance of Wine in the Wilderness was televised on WGBH-TV in Boston, Massachusetts in 1969 as part of the series “On Being Black.” Some networks refused to air the performance across the country, considering it to be too controversial for their viewers due to its depictions of racial issues.
Running time: 1 hour and 30 minutes
Special Thanks: Abby Melick
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Leadership support for The Refocus Project is generously provided by the Ford Foundation.
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