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Throw Pitchfork

Throw Pitchfork
by Alexander Thomas

Productions (11)
  • Dramedy
  • 75 - 80 minutes
  • 1 m (1-5 actors possible: 1-5 m)
  • Content Notes: Adult language and content
  • Set: Bare stage with some wooden blocks or chairs

Throw Pitchfork
by Alexander Thomas

(0)
Productions (11)
  • Dramedy
  • 75 - 80 minutes
  • 1 m (1-5 actors possible: 1-5 m)
  • Content Notes: Adult language and content
  • Set: Bare stage with some wooden blocks or chairs

Willie Thomas, an overworked, alcoholic, African-American father, passes on a legacy of self-hate and anger to his four sons: Jimmy, Wesley, Cleve, and the youngest, Alex. Each finds his own way to digest this legacy -- Jimmy through hard drugs, Wes through petty crime, Cleve through education and the arts. The older brothers are seen through the eyes of young Alex, who had a pitchfork thrown at him by his father during a drunken rage. He desperately searches for self-definition as he attempts both to emulate and separate himself from his brothers and father. His search crystallizes when his father's true story is revealed -- as a child, Willie suffered a cruel injustice at the hands of a racist Alabama penal system, which virtually robbed Willie of his childhood. Written for one energetic actor, Throw Pitchfork explores serious terrain with much comedy.

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Pricing Information

Min. Performance Fee* $80
Standard Edition $9.99
Stage Manager Edition $18.99

*The per performance fee begins at $80. Your per performance fee will be provided during the ordering process.

Play Details

Willie Thomas, an overworked, alcoholic, African-American father, passes on a legacy of self-hate and anger to his four sons: Jimmy, Wesley, Cleve, and the youngest, Alex. Each finds his own way to digest this legacy -- Jimmy through hard drugs, Wes through petty crime, Cleve through education and the arts. The older brothers are seen through the eyes of young Alex, who had a pitchfork thrown at him by his father during a drunken rage. He desperately searches for self-definition as he attempts both to emulate and separate himself from his brothers and father. His search crystallizes when his father's true story is revealed -- as a child, Willie suffered a cruel injustice at the hands of a racist Alabama penal system, which virtually robbed Willie of his childhood. Written for one energetic actor, Throw Pitchfork explores serious terrain with much comedy.

An updated version of this play is available; contact Playscripts for details.

  • Dramedy
  • 75 - 80 minutes
  • 1 m (1-5 actors possible: 1-5 m)
  • Content Notes: Adult language and content
  • Set: Bare stage with some wooden blocks or chairs

Published Reviews

"The show is, in the end, an elegy for a father...a portrait of a father's poignant legacy and what struck me as a dead-on depiction of how a family diverges from a center."

Bruce Weber, The New York Times

"An urgent high-energy performance, into which the shifting of characters fits directly into the rhythm of the play."

Kieler Nachrichten (Germany)

"It is remarkable how entertaining and satisfying Thomas's memoir is... Stuffed with big themes and memorable characters."

David Cote, Time Out New York

"Achieves greatness as social document... Thomas conveys to us what it meant to be a black man in Alabama in 1933, more potently than I've ever witnessed... He tells his story with affection, humor and pride."

Martin Denton, NYTheatre.com

"His multiple portraits show how intricately our individual identities are tied to family."

Barbara Adams, The Ithaca Journal

"There are moments of profound poignancy."

Caissa Willmer, The Ithaca Times

"A riveting night in the theatre."

Louis Fantasia, Theatre Talk for KCRW

"Thomas vividly tells the stories of these tormented men...skillfully shifting between characters and weaving their stories together with poignancy and humor."

Lovell Estell III, LA Weekly

"Thomas, a skilled and provocative writer, has placed this gripping climax where it casts light on the monologues before and after it. In the rare moments when this compact show threatens to become another story of how-I-became-an-actor, Thomas delivers jolts like these, in scenes that meld language and acting seamlessly..."

Francine Russo, The Village Voice

"Thomas energizes every square yard of the stage, like a tennis player volleying every emotion in the text across to the audience...transforms the raw elements of his life into a panoply of African-Americana, of jazz, of jivin', with long rap-like riffs of language."

James MacKillop, Syracuse NewTimes

Production History

Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
APR 23, 2017 - MAY 07, 2017
Kitchen Theatre Company
Ithaca, NY United States
Kitchen Theatre Company Ithaca, NY United States
AUG 20, 2010 - AUG 22, 2010
N/A
San Francisco, CA United States
N/A San Francisco, CA United States
NOV 06, 2008 - NOV 07, 2008
7 Stages Theatre
Atlanta, GA United States
7 Stages Theatre Atlanta, GA United States
FEB 23, 2008 - FEB 23, 2008
Kappa Alpha Psi, Korea Alumni Chapter
APO, AP United States
Kappa Alpha Psi, Korea Alumni Chapter APO, AP United States
MAY 17, 2007 - MAY 18, 2007
Jule Collins Smith Museum Of Art At Auburn University
Auburn, AL United States
Jule Collins Smith Museum Of Art At Auburn University Auburn, AL United States
NOV 19, 2004 - NOV 19, 2004
Thespis International Monodrama Festival
Kiel, Germany
Thespis International Monodrama Festival Kiel, Germany
JAN 17, 2003 - JAN 25, 2003
Highways Performance Space
Santa Monica, CA United States
Highways Performance Space Santa Monica, CA United States
DEC 05, 2002 - DEC 22, 2002
The Kitchen Theater
Ithaca, NY United States
The Kitchen Theater Ithaca, NY United States
FEB 22, 2002 - MAR 24, 2002
New York Theatre Workshop
New York, NY United States
New York Theatre Workshop New York, NY United States
MAY 28, 2000 - MAY 28, 2000
Jaw West Festival, Portland Center Stage (workshop)
Portland, OR United States
Jaw West Festival, Portland Center Stage (workshop) Portland, OR United States
OCT 29, 1999 - OCT 30, 1999
October Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre (work in progress production)
New York, NY United States
October Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre (work in progress production) New York, NY United States
Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
No upcoming productions.
Sort by Most Recent
Production Group
Location
APR 23, 2017 - MAY 07, 2017
Kitchen Theatre Company
Ithaca, NY United States
Kitchen Theatre Company Ithaca, NY United States
NOV 19, 2004 - NOV 19, 2004
Thespis International Monodrama Festival
Kiel, Germany
Thespis International Monodrama Festival Kiel, Germany
JAN 17, 2003 - JAN 25, 2003
Highways Performance Space
Santa Monica, CA United States
Highways Performance Space Santa Monica, CA United States
DEC 05, 2002 - DEC 22, 2002
The Kitchen Theater
Ithaca, NY United States
The Kitchen Theater Ithaca, NY United States
FEB 22, 2002 - MAR 24, 2002
New York Theatre Workshop
New York, NY United States
New York Theatre Workshop New York, NY United States
MAY 28, 2000 - MAY 28, 2000
Jaw West Festival, Portland Center Stage (workshop)
Portland, OR United States
Jaw West Festival, Portland Center Stage (workshop) Portland, OR United States
OCT 29, 1999 - OCT 30, 1999
October Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre (work in progress production)
New York, NY United States
October Festival, Ensemble Studio Theatre (work in progress production) New York, NY United States

Awards (1)

Special Honors Award (Besonderer Auszeichnung), Thespis International Monodrama Festival, Kiel, Germany