THE STORY: The story of two sisters, Ellie and Vi, who work as maid and laundress for the wealthy Harrisons. As the play begins they are sitting at the kitchen table in a tenement apartment in Harlem, lamenting the end of their good times. Mr. Harrison has discovered his wife in an act of infidelity. The sisters fear that if the marriage breaks up they will be both out of a job. Their nephew, Junie, chides them for their slavish sentiments at a time when blacks are on the march toward liberation. But Ellie explains the facts of life to him: how she feeds and dresses her relatives and furnishes their homes at the Harrison’s expense. “I know the pay is bad,” she declares, “but I’d be losing money on any other job.” But when things look grimmest, the telephone rings with the message that the Harrisons have made up and need their maid at once as a sitter.
Winner of the coveted Vernon Rice and Obie Awards. A long-run Off-Broadway hit, produced with an all-black cast and given in tandem with DAY OF ABSENCE. Filled with sharp, satiric thrusts, the play reports hilariously on the plight of two black domestics whose white employers are on the verge of divorce thereby threatening a cutoff in the household graft which has brought considerable luxury to their lives. “Laughter is a powerful weapon…” —NY Herald-Tribune.