by Gregory S. Carr

Tinderbox takes place during the East St. Louis Riots of 1917. The Potts Family, black migrant workers from the South, arrive along with 470 other blacks in February 1917 at the height of management-labor conflict and increased racial tensions in industrial East St. Louis. The play leads up to the May 27 conflicts leading up to the deadly July 2 attacks by white rioters on blacks, the wanton destruction of property in the black section of East St. Louis, and the senseless massacre of hundreds of Blacks. The mob violence escalates, threatens the South End section of East St. Louis where they live, and the Potts are forced to defend themselves from imminent danger.

  • Cast Size: 4M 3W
  • Running Time: 90+ minutes
  • Royalty Rate: $75 per performance

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About the Playwright

Gregory S. Carr, is an Assistant Professor of Theatre in Communication Studies at Harris-Stowe State University. Gregory is an accomplished director, playwright, actor and published writer. His award-winning plays include: Johnnie Taylor Is Gone and A Colored Funeral re produced at the historic Karamu House in Cleveland and at the Cleveland Playhouse; Tinderbox, which was featured at the East St. Louis Centennial Cultural Commission Initiative commemorated the devastating East St. Louis Massacre of 1917; and Live from Ferguson! which dramatizes the events leading up to the shooting of Michael Brown and the Ferguson Protests. Gregory‚Äôs essays and plays have appeared in several publications such as Sacred Conflicts: Plays from the Religious Arts FestivalTheatre SymposiumThe Routledge Companion to African Theatre and Cosmic Underground: A Grimoire of Black Speculative Discontent. His latest work, Watch Night, deals with a band of superheroes in a dystopian America in 2062.

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