THE STORY: In 1960s Texas, a church community has managed to avoid the tumult of the civil rights movement, maintaining a wary peace with the city’s white leaders. When developers threaten to gentrify the neighborhood and uproot its residents, a minister, a mayor, a journeyman preacher, and a domestic are forced to take sides and take a stand.
“[TRAVISVILLE] takes place in 1964, but its preoccupations have…contemporary resonance: What is the best way to carry out change? When does negotiation turn into collaboration, especially compared to disruptive activism? …Mr. Harper has serious writing chops…” —NY Times. “…[a] terrific drama… [Harper] write[s] fine dialogue [and] he has a precise touch for characterization. What’s most exciting is how well he orchestrates the pressures of event and argument: His whole created world breathes.” —Time Out NY. “Harper shows a knack for colorful dialogue throughout: funny at unexpected moments, eloquent during serious ones. …Perhaps most impressive about TRAVISVILLE, however, is Harper’s clearheaded willingness to embrace the agonizing complexities of his subject. …A humane attention to real-world nuance infuses Harper’s play with genuine emotional stakes beyond the political strategizing…” —TheaterMania.com. “…[TRAVISVILLE] is a polished jewel of writing… The play doesn’t wring its hands; it interrogates a moment in history, populated not by heroes and villains but real people negotiating dangerous quandaries.” —TheDailyBeast.com.