uncertainty regarding his audience. While "Cora's role embodies the struggle of a black audience" concerned with the past, the conflict of Robert and Norwood "speaks more directly to a white audience." 73 However, the complexity of Mulatto derives from its focus on three principal characters rather than on a single protagonist. This multiple focus should be considered a strength rather than a weakness because the play speaks to different audiences at the same time, presenting varied meanings for black and white observers.
Although some observers thought Mulatto "had neither the penetration nor the beauty of his [ Hughes's] poetic works, nor the gay humor and theatre values of his comedies When the Jack Hollers and Little Ham," it stands as a record breaking production whose faults and achievements must be shared by the playwright and those involved in its various productions. 74