Paul Robeson: The Concert He Never Gave by Gabriel Emanuel
A musical drama based on the life of one of the most popular and at the same time, controversial, lives of the 20th century. In "Paul Robeson: The Concert He Never Gave" we meet the multi-talented Actor, Singer, Lawyer and Athlete as he prepares to perform in a tribute to his 75th birthday; a concert which, in reality, took place but without the presence of Robeson who had been severely affected by years of political persecution which had hounded him into internal exile during the McCarthy era.
The play explores the complexity of Robeson's personal life and relationships, in particular, his enduring but fragile marriage to Essie, and to his only son, Paul, Jr.. Rounding out the cast is a character based upon Robeson's longtime piano accompanist, enabling the live performance of several songs which are interspersed throughout the drama. The play follows the trajectory of Robeson's brilliant career, rising from the son of an ex-slave to performing Othello on Broadway. Along the way, the play confronts issues of racism and injustice as it explores both the heroic and tragic elements of Robeson's fascinating life and career. A moving and theatrically entertaining experience for young people and adults.
Keywords: Paul Robeson, McCarthy, communism, racism, civil rights, Othello, folk songs, folk music
Running Time: 90 minutes
Male Cast: 2
Male Musician with Acting: 1
Female Cast: 1
Double Cast: 1