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Myth, Magic, and Farce

Four Multicultural Plays by Sterling Houston

Sterling Houston

Publication Year: 2005

Sterling Houston is an innovative African American writer whose plays are known for biting social commentary combined with eye-popping theatricality. Despite many successful productions, his work has never before been widely available in print. The four plays in this collection represent Houston’s full range of themes and styles. High Yello Rose deflates the Alamo myth by casting the heroes’ parts entirely with women. Isis in Nubia is a love story that sets the Isis/Osiris myth in West Africa. Black Lily and White Lily is a realistic domestic drama exploring racial tensions. Miranda Rites returns to Houston’s broadly farcical style, enacting Martha Mitchell’s last days in a hospital, where she hallucinates about Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Dandridge, and is escorted to the underworld by Carmen Miranda. “It is up to the artists to be the healers, the visionaries, to retell our stories so that they resurrect us. This is what Sterling does when he collects the lives fallen and forgotten between the cracks. What a marvelous gift Sterling has given to American culture by remembering, and not remembering as some do with retribution, but with wisdom, humor, generosity, and heart. For his labor and research, for his lifework and lovework, I am not only deeply grateful, but inspired.”--Sandra Cisneros, author of The House on Mango Street and Caramelo

Published by: University of North Texas Press


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pp. 1-12

Sterling Houston is a prolific, innovative African American playwright. He is a native of San Antonio who has lived and worked in the Alamo City since returning to his home in 1981. During a career spanning several decades in professional theatre as actor, technician, and writer in San Antonio, New York, and San Francisco he...

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High Yello Rose

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pp. 13-40

High Yello Rose was also presented in the fall of 1993 with the original cast at the Planet Theater in Austin, Texas. In August of 1998 a performance was commissioned by ATHE (Association of Theater in Higher Education) at Jump-Start Theater for its annual conference in San...

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Isis in Nubia

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pp. 43-73

SETH: Pity the creature, goddess or bitch who scorns my affection. Lest she prefer the thistle to the wild rose, let her take heed. (Sound of howling wind.) Such winds do now blow through the desolate cave where once beat my heart, such howling winds do chase themselves like mad dogs chasing their own...

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Black Lily and White Lily

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pp. 75-87

Black Lily and White Lily was revived as part of the One Two Three festival of one-act plays at the Guadalupe Cultural Arts Center and Palo Alto College in 2003 with Pamela Slocum and Antoinette Winstead, directed by Ric Slocum...

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Miranda Rites

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pp. 89-120

MARTHA: They needn't have gone to all that trouble to kill me, you know. I wanted to die. I really did. I've attempted suicide on a regular basis over the past few years, but have so far succeeded only in killing myself by painful inches. Once I knew I was dying, hell, it was a relief. No more worrying about bills, the press, my...

E-ISBN-13: 9781574414080
Print-ISBN-13: 9781574411874

Page Count: 128
Illustrations: 5 b&w illus.
Publication Year: 2005

OCLC Number: 60334631
MUSE Marc Record: Download for Myth, Magic, and Farce

Research Areas


Subject Headings

  • Multiculturalism -- Drama.
  • Cultural pluralism -- Drama.
  • Race relations -- Drama.
  • Cultural relations -- Drama.
  • Ethnic relations -- Drama.
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