Plays by Robert O'Hara


Bloomsbury Publishing
Type: Text

Robert O’Hara’s Antebellum bridges continents to highlight the intractability of love and the power of desire. Set in 1939, amid the cabarets and concentration camps of prewar Berlin and the plantations of post-Civil War Atlanta, the play uses seemingly unrelated historical events to explore the dynamic interplay of race, sexuality, and religion in the production of identity.

Antebellum employs a complex yet stirring hodgepodge of dramaturgical techniques, ranging from naturalistic to Brechtian, that evidence the formal complexities and heterodoxy of post-black dramaturgy.

Even more than he did in his earlier play Insurrection: Holding History (1996), O’Hara seamlessly melds the personal and the political to create a world that, by his own admission, is intimately connected to his own ‘relationship to life and to love’ but remains expansive and generous enough that his audiences might recognize and learn something about their own.

Robert O'Hara received the 2010 NAACP Best Director Award for his direction of Eclipsed by Danai Guiria. He received 2010 Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding New Play for Antebellum and an OBIE Award for his Direction of the World Premiere of the critically acclaimed In The Continuum at Primary Stages. He wrote and directed the World Premiere of Insurrection: Holding History at the New York Shakespeare Festival, the piece received the Oppenheimer Award for Best New American Play. He is currently an Adjunct Professor in the Undergraduate Acting Program at the NYU/Tisch School of the Arts.