Unfinished Women Cry in No Man's Land While a Bird Dies in a Gilded Cage

Spring 2011

Aishah Rahman
Directed by: Susan Russell - Associate Professor of Theatre Arts

April 7 & 9 at 8 p.m., April 10 at 2 p.m.
Kline Theatre


UNFINISHED WOMEN is an underground classic in the style of the Black Arts Movement, originally produced at the New York Shakespeare Festival. Playwright Aishah Rahman juxtaposes two stories that happen on a single day in 1955: the spirited teenagers in the Hide-a-Wee Home for Unwed Mothers (the "unfinished women") must decide whether or not to keep their babies on this, the last day in the life of the brilliant jazz saxophonist Charlie Parker (the "Bird"), who is fading away in the plush boudoir of his wealthy European patroness. The Bird is trapped in lost dreams of the past, while the young women look to the possibilities of the future. Mixing poetry and live music into a rich tapestry of longing and love, this play possesses a rare and haunting lyricism not soon forgotten. Original music composed by Dr. Paul Austerlitz.