If You a returning customer
Password forgotten? Click here.
If You a new customer
By creating an account at Tsehai Publishers you will be able to shop faster, be up to date on an orders status, and keep track of the orders you have previously made.
Click to enlarge
a play in two acts
Price : $14.95 $9.95
Add to Cart
Add to wish list
American history tells us slavery ended in 1865. But deep in the swamps and pine forests of Florida and Georgia, over half a million Blacks were held in debt servitude until the 1970’s. More than 100 years after the last cotton plant was plucked by an unpaid Black hand, turpentiners tapped the longleaf pines, harvesting pine gum fourteen hours a day. Because they earned less each week than they were forced to spend on food and clothing in the company store, the turpentiniers were virtually enslaved to their bosses. “The onliest way out is to die out,” says a seasoned worker in the play. Bannister and Hurd’s poetic looks at the extraordinary lives of the Blacks enslaved by debt peonage, but freed by their stories, songs, rootwork, and magic.
Based on dozens of interviews with surviving centenarian turpentiners and the memories of Hurd’s own grandfather, Jake, Turpentine Jake is a rich spoken word poem full of dreams, wonders, and hard realities. Part history lesson, part poetry, part American Folklore, Turpentine Jake is a “blues drama,” capturing the soul (and sparkling with the wit and tenacity) of the turpentiners, truly “poets of the swingin’ blades” that carved the faces of the pines in the deep South. The book contains an introductory essay, photos, music, a glossary, and bibliography.
A Note on the Play
Songs from Turpentine Jake
“Turpentine Jake is a play full of mystery and song, with an epic story and indelible characters that lifts some dark times out of the piney forests of Florida and into the hearts of the audience. On the cloud of an ending that is as honest as it is surprising, I left the theater feeling thankful and hopeful about what theater can accomplish with wonderful material.”
—Constance Congdon, Playwright in Residence at Amherst College
“Turpentine Jake is a breakthrough play that highlights the social milieu surrounding a forgotten chapter of American life … a 21st century warning to all of us when we consider the ongoing balancing act of business needs versus the dictates of morality and ethics.”
—Valencia E. Matthews, Ph.D., Director of Theatre at Florida A&M University
“Turpentine Jake is that rare synthesis of history and theatre that stuns us with its authenticity, and shakes us with its dramatic charge. Through sweat, music, laughter, and pain it draws us into a deep examination of race and our national character. This play will live in your heart for a long time after you have experienced it.”
—Kevin Lawler, Producing Artistic Director of The Great Plains Theatre Conference, Omaha
“Turpentine Jake is an evocative and authentic glimpse of life in the Turpentine camps. A labor of love carefully researched and artfully told.”
—Laurie Kay Sommers, Ph.D., Folklorist and Director, Traditions of Turpentine Project, Valdosta State University
"Turpentine Jake is a compelling account, written in a richly textured language, that distills a historic disgrace into compelling action, spiced with humor and American magic realism."
—Ron West, Ph.D., Professor of Theatre, Metropolitan Comm. College, Omaha
Linda Bannister, professor of English at Loyola Marymount University, has a Ph. D. in Rhetoric, Linguistics, and Literature from the University of Southern California and was the inaugural holder of The Daum Professorship, an endowed chair at LMU. Bannister co-wrote and produced the world premiere run of Turpentine Jake at the Del Ray Theatre in LA, which was nominated for two 2009 NAACP Theatre Awards, winning one. Bannister and Hurd have also co-authored an award-winning short film, “Poet of the Swingin’ Blade,” which was selected as a finalist at eight film festivals, winning Best Message Film at the San Diego Festival and The Fort Omaha Film Festival and Conference 2009. Bannister is also a Board Member of The World Stage in Leimert Park Village and a founding member of The Kohl Players, www.kohlplayers.com.
View All Products
View All Authors
Sign up for our newsletter
Copyright © 2017 Tsehai Publishers All Rights Reserved.