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Suzan-Lori Parks’ Historical Play ‘Father Comes Home From the Wars’ Wins Kennedy Prize

Suzan-Lori Parks' Historical Play 'Father Comes Home From the Wars' Wins Kennedy Prize

Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks has received the Edward M. Kennedy Prize for her American epic “Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3).”

The Kennedy Prize, which comes with a $100,000 grant, is awarded to the best theatrical work inspired by American history. “Father Comes Home” details the painful homecoming of a black Civil War soldier, a slave named Hero, who fought for the South alongside his plantation master. 

The story of Hero and his descendants will continue in Parts 4-9, in which the family saga will unfurl through the 20th century to the present day. 

“The story of Hero, a slave who chooses to fight on behalf of the Confederacy, feels fresh and alive, shining new light on the complicated nature of freedom,” said the Kennedy panel of jurors. “In its unflinching treatment of homecoming, betrayal and heroism, ‘Father Comes Home from the Wars’ announces itself as an iconic work that challenges and engages Western theatrical tradition while providing a compelling contribution to the urgent American conversation about race.”

“Father Comes Home” will continue its run at the American Repertory Theater in Cambridge, Mass until March 1.

Parks received a MacArthur Foundation “Genius” Grant in 2001 and won the Pulitzer Prize for the play “Topdog/Underdog” in 2002. She also wrote the screenplays for Spike Lee’s “Girl 6” (1996) and Darnell Martin’s Halle Berry vehicle “Their Eyes Were Watching God” (2005).

[via NY Times]

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