Taking of Miss Janie

The New Federal Theatre and Joseph Papp got together to co-produce the outstanding black play of the season, Ed Bullins’s The Taking of Miss Janie , which won the New York Drama Critics Circle citation for best American play. The drama started at the end of the story, with the white California beach girl Janie (Hilary Jean Beane) in shock because her friend of many years, the black student Monty (Adeyemi Lythcott), has just raped her. She cannot understand it, telling him, “I thought of you as my special friend,” but he says she always knew their relationship would come to this. The scene switches back to the 1950s, and in a series of episodes we see how Miss Janie, who represents all patronizing white liberals and their attitudes to blacks, and Monty and his friends, who stand for the misguided hopes of his race, have been drawn to each other in a mission of failure. Both supporters and critics of Bullins’s work thought it his most accomplished play, filled with vivid characters and building in intensity rather than taking his usual scattershot approach. The good reviews encouraged Papp to keep the drama on the boards for five weeks. – American Theatre: A Chronicle of Comedy and Drama 1969–2000

Presented as part of the 1974-75 Season

Play opened May 4, 1975 at the Lincoln Center: Mitzi E. Newhouse

Artist Credits

Credit Artist Photo
Playwright Ed Bullins Ed Bullins
Director Gilbert Moses
Stage Manager Oz Scott
Lighting Designer Charles Cosler
Lighting Designer Kert Lundell
Costume Designer Judy Dearing
Actor Adeyemi Lythcott
Actor Robbie McCauley
Actor Hilary Jean Beane
Actor Kirk Kirksey
Actor Darryl Croxton
Actor Lin Shaye
Actor Sam McMurray
Actor Dianne Oyama Dixon
Actor Robert B. Silver

All 1974-75 Season productions: