Background on “Trouble in Mind”

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Trouble in Mind by Alice Childress, directed by Sandra Adell is a co-production of the University of Wisconsin Afro-American Studies Department and the Kathie Rasmussen Women’s Theatre.
At the Bartell Theater February 22 – March 9, 2019
For tickets:
Trouble in Mind is the first professionally produced play written by Alice Childress, a pioneering African-American playwright. Childress directed the first production of the play, which debuted on November 5, 1955, in Greenwich Mews Theatre, New York City, and ran for 91 performances. For Trouble in Mind, Childress was awarded an Obie Award in 1956 for best original Off-Broadway production, making her the first African-American woman to win an Obie. Though Trouble in Mind was award-winning and a hit with critics and audiences at the time, the production was plagued with problems, including a clash between the original director and cast that prompted Childress to take his place. This is ironic considering Trouble in Mind is about the troubled production of a fictional, anti-lynching Broadway play, Chaos in Belleville. Wiletta Mayer, the African-American lead of the Chaos, as well as the other black actors, must deal with the condescending attitude of their white director, Al Manners. Wiletta stands up to Manners and reveals his racist attitudes but faces severe consequences as a result. Trouble in Mind also had script problems.
–¬† 2018