Comedy, 3m, 3w
Full-length play, about 90 minutes


Summary

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

Characters: Minimum required 3 men, 3 women. (You can 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

Setting: Various places in America.

Time: Now.

Production/Development history:

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