Myth, Magic, and Farce: Four Multicultural Plays

Myth, Magic, and Farce: Four Multicultural Plays

Myth, Magic, and Farce: Four Multicultural Plays

Myth, Magic, and Farce: Four Multicultural Plays


Sterling Houston is an innovative African American writer whose plays are known for biting social commentary combined with eye-popping theatricality. Despite many successful productions, his work has never before been widely available in print. The four plays in this collection represent Houston's full range of themes and styles. High Yello Ros e deflates the Alamo myth by casting the heroes' parts entirely with women. Isis in Nubia is a love story that sets the Isis/Osiris myth in West Africa. Black Lily and White Lily is a realistic domestic drama exploring racial tensions. Miranda Rites returns to Houston's broadly farcical style, enacting Martha Mitchell's last days in a hospital, where she hallucinates about Marilyn Monroe and Dorothy Dandridge, and is escorted to the underworld by Carmen Miranda.


Sterling Houston is a prolific, innovative African American playwright. He is a native of San Antonio who has lived and worked in the Alamo City since returning to his home in 1981. During a career spanning several decades in professional theatre as actor, technician, and writer in San Antonio, New York, and San Francisco he has worked with some of the greatest practitioners of modern theatre, including Charles Ludlam, Sam Shepard, and George C. Wolfe. His plays are known for their biting social commentary, burlesque humor, and intensive musical ideas. Houston is the artistic director and writer-in-residence for Jump-Start Performance Company, a not-for-profit, presenting-and-producing theatre collective, dedicated to the exploration of alternative viewpoints.

Houston is a man of his time, of his region—a South Texas playwright. His plays, over twenty produced, speak of the Southwestern experience, the Black, Hispanic (Mexican), and European American experience. His work is an answer to the call for a contemporary theatre that mirrors the diversity of our culture. the plays are the voice of the male (sensitive and macho), the strong, weak, and independent female, the homosexual and the straight.

Sterling Houston is a unique talent in San Antonio and the South. He joined Jump-Start Performance Company in 1988 as a performer. in 1989 he became its writer-in-residence, in 1990 its administrative director, and shortly thereafter its artistic director, a position he still holds in 2003. For over fourteen years he has had a productive relationship with the founder of the company and director of many of the productions, and longtime executive director, Steve Bailey.

Steve Bailey recognized and encouraged his writing talent when he brought Houston in to perform with the Jump-Start Performance Company on a work called, It’s About Going. the improvisational . . .

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