A Sunday Morning in the South & BRONZE

Photo credit: Stefan von Reiche for The Archway 1 Theatre Company

by Georgia Douglas Johnson

Directed by Rachel Jordan


The American South, its sultry, languid landscape, agriculture fields, wooden porches, big white houses and the poplar trees is the setting for A Sunday Morning in the South by playwright and poet Georgia Douglas Johnson, Directed by the company’s Artistic Director Rachel Jordan. The play was chosen to be a part of the Archway 1 Theatre Company’s 2015 Season of Women Playwrights and Women Directors and is in association with the Sydney Fringe Festival. The play was curated for it’s theme about social and political injustice and the marginalization of people. It was written in 1925 and yet is still a recurring theme in today’s time. The playwright dispenses an unrestrained account of southern life for a working class family and the impact institutionalized racism has on their lives.

The companies production also includes the adaption of the playwrights poetry, Bronze – a book of verse, written in 1920 and is neatly woven as a series of monologues performed by the large cast, based around themes of self reflection, faith and survival.

Georgia Douglas Johnson was one of the most prolific African American women writers of the early 1920s, she helped to pioneer the Harlem Renaissance and was an innovative writer, poet & playwright whose work is valued as one of the unique contributions to American dramatic literature and theatre history. Johnson was known for her poetry and anti-lynching plays beginning with A Sunday Morning in the South.

Charmaine Bingwa
Kwame Kamara
Virginie Laverdure
Sage Godrei
Uma Kali Shakti
Tash Ncube
Mark Williamson
Rachel Jordan

Show Dates:
August- September 2015

Set Construction: Stefan von Reiche

Set Design: Rachel Jordan & Stefan von Reiche

Props: Andrew ‘Crickey’ Crichton, Rachel Jordan

Costume: 1930’s vintage Rachel Jordan, Modern adaption cast own, Mark Williamson (all own)

Hair & Make Up: Actors

Sound & Lighting, Stage Management: Rachele Bottemely


Georgia Douglas JohnsonGeorgia Douglas Johnson (1880–1966) was the first modern African-American female poet to gain widespread recognition. She was an integral part of the Harlem Renaissance of the 1920s and gave a voice to black women through her passionate poems. She tackled issues of gender, race and love and she was the most prolific and varied black woman writer of her time. She wrote hundreds of poems and dozens of plays, short stories, newspaper articles, and songs. In 1925 Johnson was appointed by U.S President Calvin Coolidge as commissioner of conciliation for the Department of Labor. She and her attorney husband, Henry Lincoln Johnson, opened their home in Washington, D.C., as a salon for writers to gather to read and discuss their works. The Saturday Nighters’ Club attracted many prominent African-American writers including Jean Toomer, Langston Hughes, Angelina Grimke, Alice Dunbar-Nelson, Zora Neale Hurston, and Marita Bonner. In 1916 Johnson published her first three poems called “Gossamer,” “Fame,” and “My Little One” in Crisis magazine. This was the beginning of a prolific writing career that would span 50 years.

In 1918 Johnson published her first book of poetry called The Heart of a Woman. The book consisted of lyrical poetry and addressed the difficulties and frustrations faced by women. The poems were full of emotions and the prominent themes were nature, love, desire, sorrow, death, memory, aging, solitude, and joy. While some critics have called this book stereotypically sentimental, others have recognized it as a deeply autobiographical work with feminist awareness. Johnson’s style of writing reflected her musical inspirations. “Into my poems I poured the longing for music,” Johnson was quoted as saying by Claire Buck in the Bloomsbury Guide to Women’s Literature. She was a member of the American Society of African Culture; DC Matrons; DC Women’s Party; League for the Abolition of Capital Punishment; League of American Writers; League of Neighbors; National Song Writers Guild; New York City Civic Club; Poet Laureate League; Poet’s Council of the National Women’s Party; Poets League of Washington; Washington Social Letter Club; Writers’ League Against Lynching. She received an honorary doctorate from Atlanta University, 1965.