Stage Readings: Baldwin's 'Blues for Mister Charlie': Sept 9, 2024

An award-winning play from one of America’s most brilliant writers about a murder in a small Southern town, loosely based on the 1955 killing of Emmett Till. • “A play with fires of fury in its belly, tears of anguish in its eyes, a roar of protest in its throat.” 

—The New York Times: 

James Baldwin turns a murder and its aftermath into an inquest in which even the most well-intentioned whites are implicated—and in which even a killer receives his share of compassion. 

In a small Southern town, a white man murders a black man, then throws his body in the weeds. With this act of violence, James Baldwin launches an unsparing and at times agonizing probe of the wounds of race.

Get your copy of the play here. Begun in Instanbul in 1963, you can read about the writing of Blues for Mister Charlie in this 1964 edition of Playbill where the interviewer asks: When and where did you write Blues for Mister Charlie?

Baldwin says, "I started in Instanbul in April 1963, and then had to fly home for the March on Washington in May (1963). I wrote the play in less than a year, working on it between civil rights meetings and appearances. I was afraid that if I didn’t do it I wouldn’t be a writer anymore. In the middle of it, Medgar [Evers] was shot and I knew I had to finish it."

Save the date, as this event is being constructed. It will be in the theater space at GMU Fairfax, starting at 7pm on Sept 9, 2024. Reception after.