Play looks to past to comment on the present


April 29, 2007|By J. Wynn Rousuck | J. Wynn Rousuck,Sun Theater Critic

Fearlessly unpopular but highly principled stands are the stuff of playwright Naomi Wallace's writing - and her life.

Making its East Coast premiere at Center Stage, her play Things of Dry Hours focuses on a black Communist Party unit leader, his grown daughter and a white steelworker who shows up at their door, running from the law in 1932 Birmingham, Ala. The father bases his life on two books: the Bible and the Communist Manifesto.

THINGS OF DRY HOURS / / Through June 3 at Center Stage, 700 N. Calvert St. $10-$60. 410-332-0033 or

Naomi Wallace


Aug. 17, 1960, in Prospect, Ky.


Hampshire College, bachelor's degree in English; University of Iowa, master's degrees in poetry and playwriting

Selected works:

The War Boys (1993), In the Heart of America (1994), One Flea Spare (1995), Birdy (1996), The Trestle at Pope Lick Creek (1998), Things of Dry Hours (2004), Lawn Dogs (film, 1997)


Susan Smith Blackburn Prize (for a woman writing for the English-speaking theater, 1995 and 1996), Obie Award (1997), MacArthur Fellowship (1999)


three daughters (Nadira, 19; Caitlin, 18; and Tegan, 16) with partner, Bruce McLeod, a writer and academician


Yorkshire, England

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