Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3)
Finalist, 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama
"The finest work yet from this gifted writer."--The New York Times
Offered his freedom if he joins his master in the ranks of the Confederacy, Hero, a slave, must choose whether to leave the woman and people he loves for what may be another empty promise. As his decision brings him face to face with a nation at war with itself, the ones Hero left behind debate whether to escape or wait for his return, only to discover that for Hero, freedom may have come at a great spiritual cost. A devastatingly beautiful dramatic work, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2, & 3) is the opening trilogy of a projected nine-play cycle that will ultimately take us into the present.
Suzan-Lori Parks became the first African American woman to receive the Pulitzer Prize for Drama for her play Topdog/Underdog in 2002. Her other plays include The Book of Grace, In the Blood, Venus, The Death of the Last Black Man in the Whole Entire World, Fucking A, Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom and The America Play. In 2007 her 365 Days/365 Plays was produced at more than seven hundred theaters worldwide. Parks is a MacArthur Fellow and the Master Writer Chair at the Public Theater.
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"This show is just plain fun to watch." - Marilyn Stasio, "Variety"
"A masterpiece. Without ever leaving the confines of the particular situation, Parks manages to send tendrils of thought shooting out into the future: to Jim Crow, to the great migration, to redlining and slums and even stop-and-frisk... But "Father Comes Home From the Wars" is also heartbreakingly individual." - Jesse Green, "New York"
"Parks' incomparable command of percussive vernacular is no surprise, and her dialogue here might just as easily be sung. This haunting work is funny and tragic, whimsical and lacerating, poetic and poignant, navigating its radical tonal shifts with fluidity and grace." - David Rooney, "Hollywood Reporter"
"Provocative, rich and irreverently funny." - Elisabeth Vincentelli, "New York Post"
"Parks charges up the play with fluid, poetic dialogue that's whimsical and elevated by turns... Plays of this much intensity and focus demand total attention, and reward one with kaleidoscopic satisfaction; the more you reflect on what you've seen and heard, the more you find meanings, jokes, and intriguing connections." - Kilian Melloy, "Edge Boston"
"Bold, hugely entertaining, moving and thrillingly ambitious... Parks is assured of having created her most vivid and satisfying work since the Pulitzer Prize-winning "Topdog/Underdog."" - Michael Giltz, "Huffington Post"
"Her writing runs, nay races, from the sublime and lyrical to the (intentionally) low and ridiculous. Hers is a voice to be reckoned with, now and in the remaining six parts to come." - Jack Craib, "South Shore Critic"
"One of the top plays of the year... A richly textured mix of Brechtian allegory and Homeric epic, finding new meaning in an essential American tragedy." --Richard Zoglin, Time "By turns philosophical and playful, lyrical and earthy, Father Comes Home from the Wars (Parts 1, 2 & 3) swoops, leaps, dives and soars, reimagining a turbulent turning point in American history through a cockeyed contemporary lens... The wonder of Ms. Parks's achievement is how smoothly she blends the high and the low, the serious and the humorous, the melodramatic and the grittily realistic." --Charles Isherwood, New York Times "Suzan-Lori Parks's stunning new drama is that rare work of art: one that bears the heavy burden of its subject matter--the peculiar institution of American slavery-- but that carries it lightly... Parks brings the full force of her dramatic power. She both elevates her themes with echoes of classic literature, while at the same time doubling down on comedy... This is serious work that is seriously entertaining." --Thom Geier, Entertainment Weekly "The best new play of the year... It is bold, hugely entertaining, moving and thrillingly ambitious. Suzan-Lori Parks bids fair to create a sprawling multi-part epic to plant alongside August Wilson's monumental Century Cycle, one of the great achievements in theater history. Parts 4 through 9 (or more?) can't come fast enough." --Michael Giltz, Huffington Post "Suzan-Lori Parks may reach back to the ancient Greeks for references and structure, but her play delivers an in-themoment gut punch. Father Comes Home from the Wars is an insightful, poetic, often heartbreaking look at the devastations of war and slavery and the complications of freedom." --Robert Feldberg, Bergen Record "One of the most provocative playwrights we have." --Linda Winer, Newsday "Can one-third of something already be a masterpiece? Seems like it to me... People long for stories that engage the deepest possible issues in the most gripping possible ways. Father Comes Home from the Wars is one of those
stories--or maybe more than one." --Jesse Green, New York "Brilliant, beautiful . . . This haunting work is funny and tragic, whimsical and lacerating, poetic and poignant... If Parks can sustain her sprawling project at this level as it moves forward, there's every reason to hope it will ultimately become no less significant and emotionally resonant an undertaking than August Wilson's ten-play Century Cycle." --David Rooney, Hollywood Reporter "Parks's richest, most satisfying play... The real news isn't that Parks has hit the mark with a complex and ambitious work--she undoubtedly has. It's that the playful spirit of her best work turns out to be alive and well." --Tom Sellar, Village Voice "Suzan-Lori Parks has finally arrived at classical proportions: her Civil War triptych is built along the sharp, symmetrical lines of Greek tragedy and Homeric epic... The language is poetic and formal, a modified nineteenth-century slave idiom, imbued with Parks's improvisatory, jazzy irreverence... After decades in which Parks encouraged us to get lost in the holes of history, she's playing where theater began: with song, story, ritual and catharsis." --David Cote, Time Out New York "Provocative and rich... earthy and irreverently funny, neither pompous tragedy nor Ken Burns-type reenactment." --Elisabeth Vincentelli, New York Post