Music by Ray Leslee
Book and Lyrics by Philip S. Goodman
Based on the novel A GOOD MAN by Jefferson Young.
A Good Man
It’s early spring just after World War II in rural Mississippi, a place black people have been leaving in droves. Not "Prince" Albert Clayton, a poor sharecropper but a gifted grower, who loves his family and feels a sense of belonging.
At a party for his friend just out of the Army, Albert gets a cash award for “best cotton crop” and learns his wife Louella is pregnant. Happy with himself and his life, and inspired by a prophetic spring snow, he decides to fulfill a lifelong dream of having a clean white house on a hill. He decides to fix up and paint his shabby tenant house at the end of the growing season. That simple notion turns his whole world upside down.
Albert discovers that folks are against it, not only his landlord and the other whites in town, but most of the blacks too, including his wife, his friends, and even his preacher. When the racist white store owner angrily cuts off his credit, and Albert’s very survival is
threatened, he responds by becoming even more determined. Passions break out, resentment and fear surge, shattering family and community and threatening life itself.
Finally, when his simple dream turns into despair, Albert rediscovers himself. With courage, and a new realism about what his family truly needs, and what is actually possible, he and Louella reconcile and move with renewed love into a hopeful future.
The show is dramatic, often funny, sad, yet full of life and rhythm, with a rich blues, gospel, country, and Americana score.
Download or open The Full Script in Adobe Reader.
The following artists are featured in the demo recordings:
Cheryl Alexander, Rosalind Brown, Tarea Campbell, Lawrence Clayton, John-Martin Green, Aisha de Haas, Lawrence Hamilton, Bobby Harden, Joshua Henry, Marva Hicks, Heather Hill, David Hughey, Capathia Jenkins, Anastacia McClesky, Wayne Pretlow, C.E. Smith, Bob Stillman, Jeffrey Thompson, Glen Turner,, Carlton Taylor, Rema Webb.
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ALBERT CLAYTON A sharecropper – a strong, decent man, a natural leader, and a gifted farmer.
LOUELLA Albert’s wife, hard-working, spirited, worn by farm life and wanting change.
LETTIE Louella’s sister, sprightly, sexy, and licking old wounds before she runs off to new adventures.
AUGUSTUS Albert’s buddy just out of the Army. He drinks beer, talks a lot, and has a temper.
GRANNY Louella’s grandmother, battered by age and illness, still sharp, assertive, cranky.
COOTER Albert’s son, a smart kid who loves his papa and can’t see any other future but “cotton
PREACHER TOM A man with a quick tongue and lively instincts wearing a frayed and self-conscious piety.
HARDWAY A cunning, meddlesome friend, with a weakness for gambling and taking what he can.
JOHN TITTLE Albert’s white landlord, a clever, excitable guy, who doesn’t know where he fits.
JAKE MATHIS The town storekeeper, busy demonstrating the authority and importance he is afraid he doesn’t really have.