The Green Pastures



  • Mark Connelly's Black folk drama, first produced (with a Blackcast) in New York in 1930. The work, which won a Pulitzer Prize, hadthe distinction of being the first US play to put God on stage, aninnovation that earned it an automatic ban from the Lord Chamberlainin Britain. The role of God was played by a 62-year-old theatricalnovice, Richard B. Harrison, who found that his onstage persona followedhim out of the theater, often being called upon to use his healingpowers and baptize the children of his admirers.

    Connelly's fable, which he also directed, was set in a BlackLouisiana church in which the preacher retells Bible stories in thesimple language of his congregation. God becomes a tall cigar-smokingBlack man who encourages his people to live it up, instructing Noahto take a barrel of liquor onto his ark and telling Moses to leadhis people to "de choice piece of property".