Paul Green's Wordbook: An Alphabet of Reminiscence, Volume 1

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Appalachian Consortium Press, 1990 - Fiction - 1245 pages
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About the author (1990)

Born on a North Carolina farm, Green studied philosophy at the University of North Carolina. He began to write plays as a freshman under the guidance of Frederic Koch, whose Carolina playmakers staged Green's first works. An important regional dramatist, Green portrays the plight of black and white oppressed Southerners of both the old South and the new. His dramas feature interpolations of folk songs along with authentic North Carolina dialect. Among Green's finest achievements are The House of Connelly (1931) and Johnny Johnson (1936). John Gassner described the first as "the most poignant drama of the postbellum South" and the second as "the most imaginative and affecting antiwar full-length play in the American Theatre." Abraham's Bosom (1926) shows the failure of a mulatto to achieve status. This later work, performed by the Provincetown Players in New York City, won the Pulitzer Prize for drama in 1926. Green is also largely responsible for the development of pageants or symphonic dramas, as he terms them, the only dramatic writing he did after 1936. The Lost Colony (1937) was his first outdoor drama and was written to commemorate the three hundred fiftieth anniversary of Raleigh's colony at Roanoke, Virginia. It has been performed with a cast of 150 every summer since. Other popular Green pageants, derived from the life and history of the people or single individuals from a particular locale, are The Common Glory (1948) and The Stephen Foster Story (1959).

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