Native by Ian Finley is a relevant and powerful production based on the true story of the collaboration between Pulitzer Prize winner, Paul Green, and the prodigy author of Native Son, Richard Wright. Produced by EbzB Productions, Native features David zum Brunnen as Paul Green and J. Mardrice as Richard Wright. Serena Ebhardt directs.
A provocative and powerful production. Congratulations!
Donna Campbell, Patron
Native details the metamorphic debate between Paul Green and Richard Wright. The authors were originally brought together by the Mercury Theatre to adapt Wright’s novel, Native Son for the stage. Green, a white southern professor, and Wright, a self-educated African-American with communist sympathies, forge a deep respect for each other as they discuss systemic discrimination of African-Americans. They start their collaboration in Chapel Hill, NC like a “house on fire.”
Then in 1941, with World War II on the horizon, the two authors meet again in New York for rewrites. Orson Welles’ Broadway production is already in rehearsal. Differences over a single page of the script create an impasse between Green and Wright. A life-changing dialogue about who has the right to tell the story of race, politics and social class ensues. In spite of their common goal to affect social change, the scintillating revelations dissolve the friendship of the two influential social justice authors.
Native is written by Ian Finley, a playwright and educator who served as the NC Piedmont Laureate in 2012. He received the Harry Kondoleon Award for playwriting while earning his MFA at New York University's Tisch School of Performing Arts. His plays include a two-part musical adaptation of Thomas Hardy's Jude the Obscure for Burning Coal Theatre Company in Raleigh, Up From the Ground for the Piedmont Laureate program, and two ten-minute plays for the Ackland Art Museum. He also serves as Head of Drama at Research Triangle High School.
PRESENTER TOOL KIT
Run Time - 80 minutes, no intermission /Short Version - 55 minutes
The very successful workshop was presented with script in hand, and the text continued to evolve over the five-day run. Audience members had the opportunity – which they took enthusiastically – to share their helpful reactions to the play in post-performance conversations.
Native received a workshop production at Deep Dish Theater Company in Chapel Hill in January 2015. David zum Brunnen portrayed Paul Green. Gil Faison and John Harris took turns in the role Richard Wright.