Sidnee Poet Heroical

Baraka’s later plays express the Marxist-Leninist- Mao Zedong philosophy he embraced in the mid-1970’s. Gauging the success of monumental dramas such as The Motion of History and The Sidney Poet Heroical is difficult, in part because they are rarely performed, in larger part because of a generally hostile political climate. The texts of the plays reflect Baraka’s continuing interest in multimedia performance styles, incorporating a great deal of musical and cinematic material. Both plays comprise numerous brief scenes revealing the action of historical forces, primarily economic in The Motion of History and primarily racial in The Sidney Poet

He also has a new full‐length play, “Sidnee Poet Heroical or, If in Danger of Suit, The Kid Poet Heroical.” The hero Of the play is “an actor who comes to America from the West Indies, and is subject to the dominant culture. That changes him from what he was to what America is. The play is about his attempt to reverse the process.” Slyly, Mr. Baraka confessed, “It bears a resemblance to a certain actor.” One problem in getting the play produced—besides the danger of a lawsuit—is the elaborateness of the production. The play combines music, dance, drama and film. It is, Mr. Baraka said, “close to what I want to see happen in the theater now.” – NY Times March 13, 1973

Presented as part of the 1974-75 Season

Artist Credits

Credit Artist Photo
Playwright Amiri Baraka Amiri Baraka
Director Amiri Baraka Amiri Baraka
Actor Bever-leigh Banfield
Actor George Fludd
Actor Charles Grant Green
Actor Gwendolyn Hardwick
Actor Steve Itkin
Actor Nicholas Mele
Actor Saundra McClain
Actor Count Stovall
Actor Andre Mtume
Actor Gia Williams
Actor Neville Richen
Actor Susan Slavin
Actor Lois Weaver

All 1974-75 Season productions: