Pieces of Whitey

Pieces of Whitey

 

Pieces of Whitey poster image
Pieces of Whitey bakes a wild comedy about race and whiteness.

Synopsis:

(Full-length comedy. Cast: 3 women, 3 men)
Pieces of Whitey is a comedy about well-meaning white people. Fast-paced and highly theatrical, the narrative follows two main threads.
A well-meaning white playwright, Fred, tries to lead a more racially integrated life. He’s commissioned by an all white theatre company to write a play about race, is forced to get a license to write black characters, he’s on a game show where the contests guess the race of guests, he attends a 3-minute interracial friendship club, and government agents strip him of his white privilege. He and his wife end up adopted a black baby, and even simple things like grocery shopping and going to the video store take on a surreal tinge.

A middle-aged white couple, Bill and Betty, have a daughter (Megan), who is about to marry a black man (Jalen). A new blood test reveals that their prospective son-in-law actually has no “black blood” but that their daughter is thirty percent black. Bill and Betty find out that they’re not as white as they thought, and they struggle to adjust.
Read the first act of Pieces of Whitey

Production History

Productions/Readings:

  • Rough & Tumble Theatre, Boston, MA, 2005
  • Attention Span, Baltimore, 2005 (workshop)
  • Stage Left Theatre, Chicago, 2004 (workshop)

Awards:

  • Finalist, Theatre Conspiracy New Play Competition, 2005

 

Casting and Production Requirements:

A simple set is used to suggest multiple locations. Props used are hand props. The action is quick and seamless. The play can be done on a small stage with no fly space.

Time: The Present
Place: Various places in America

Character Descriptions: (required: 3 men, 3 women)
(You can certainly use more actors if you desire.)
There are lots of characters to distribute. Here is one scheme that works for six actors:

Man 1 plays: Fred, Voice, Assistant #1

Man 2 plays: Harold, Assistant #2, Jalen, Bob Smith, Shopper 1 and Shopper 4, Tyrone, Guest #2, Chip, Maxwell, Coffee Customer, Tom, Julon. Guy on stoop in “Fred’s Brain.” Cop.

Man 3 plays: David, Bill, Jim Hayman. Other guy on stoop in “Fred’s Brain.”

Woman 1 plays: Betty

Woman 2 plays: Amy, Megan, Dr. Hector, Elana Kowalski, Sherry, Vicki, Guest #1, Shopper 3, Neighbor, Martha, Barrista, Subway Rider, Jamie.

Woman 3 plays: Janice, Sally, Assistant #3, Courtney, Amelia, Guest #3, Fred’s Brain, Tamika, Dr. Marks, Cynthia, Shopper 2, Cook, Kelly Snow, Video Clerk, Bartender.

Man 1 should be aged 20-40
Man 2 should be 20-40
Man 3 should be 30-55

Woman 1 should be 30-55
Woman 2 should be 20-40
Woman 3 should be 20-40

The action of the play should be fast and as smooth as possible. In order for this to happen, settings should be established with the barest minimum of props and furniture. Scene cards or projected slides with scene titles can help a lot. Costumes need to be easy to change, and again, quickly representative.

Last note. This play is intended for an all-white cast. There are, of course, some philosophical problems with this. So, if you want to produce the play with a racially mixed or all-black cast, that’s fine, but if you do so then ALL (that includes white actors) the actors must wear white face.

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