Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy (dir. Clinton Turner Davis)

Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy (dir. Clinton Turner Davis)

Once again, for this show at the Nevada Conservatory Theatre I put together the full evening program.
I also interviewed the director, Clinton Turner Davis and you can find our conversation here.

Dramaturg’s Note

Lynn Nottage’s Crumbs from the Table of Joy premiered Off-Broadway at the Second Stage Theatre in New York City in May of 1995, directed by Joe Morton. Shortly after it was produced by Steppenwolf Theatre Company in Chicago, IL in March of 1996, directed by Leslie Holland, and by South Coast Repertory in Costa Mesa, CA in September, directed by Seret Scott. It was first published in Nottage’s first collection of plays in 2004.

The title is inspired by Langston Hughes’s short poem, Luck:

Sometimes a crumb falls from the table of joy,
Sometimes a bone is flung,
To some people love is given,
To others only heaven.

In the play, which takes place in Brooklyn in 1950, both Ernestine Crump, a young African American aspiring writer, and the other characters she evokes – her father Godfrey, sister Ermina, aunt Lily Ann Green, and stepmother Gerte, who is German – navigate the complexities of a world that does not yield easy answers as to why certain people succeed and others continue to struggle. Religion, politics, interracial relations, all weigh on decisions, hopes, and desires that may or may not be fulfilled and yet constitute a weave that brings people together in their effort to improve their lot.

Since the set itself is such an important character in the play, for this production we include here the notes of our talented graduate and undergraduate designers, who speak of their creative process.

Enjoy the show!



Stebos is a stage director, producer, and dramaturg, based in Las Vegas and New York City in the United States.

Stebos has 47 posts and counting. See all posts by Stebos

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