About the Play

Together with Cordelia, Shape is the third in the Tulsa series; also a fable on genocidal ideology at large. The life and travails of vaudevillian fairies (winged, anomalous), exploited for their historical songs and dances, used by the dominant culture, and abandoned at times of great need. Based loosely on the biographies of African American vaudevillians Billy and Cordelia MacClain, who at one point took part in a vast spectacle staged in Brooklyn at the beginning of the 20th Century. Black America put 500 black performers in a camp in Brooklyn, where they reenacted the joys of plantation life.

Director: Daniel Alexander Jones


2 Jun 1895 New York Times article on the Brooklyn Plantation spectacle

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