Welcome to the LitCharts study guide on Suzan-Lori Parks's The America Play. Created by the original team behind SparkNotes, LitCharts are the world's best literature guides.
The America Play: Introduction
The America Play: Plot Summary
The America Play: Detailed Summary & Analysis
The America Play: Themes
The America Play: Quotes
The America Play: Characters
The America Play: Terms
The America Play: Symbols
The America Play: Theme Wheel
Brief Biography of Suzan-Lori Parks
Historical Context of The America Play
Other Books Related to The America Play
- Full Title: The America Play
- When Written: 1990-1993
- Where Written: New York City
- When Published: 1994 (first performance at the Yale Repertory Theater)
- Literary Period: Contemporary/Postmodern American Theater
- Genre: Contemporary American theater, experimental theater, historical theater, metatheatre, African American theater
- Setting: An exact replica of The Great Hole of History
- Climax: The Foundling Father returns from beyond the grave, and then dies in a reenactment of the Lincoln assassination.
- Antagonist: The Foundling Father, the John Wilkes Booth impersonators, historical amnesia, American racism, death and burial
- Point of View: Dramatic
Extra Credit for The America Play
72 Hours to Fame. Parks wrote her most famous play, Topdog/Underdog—which borrows heavily from The America Play and revolves around two black brothers named Lincoln and Booth—in the course of just three days, during an artist’s residency in a theater she soon realized had little interest in performing her work.
A Typo for the Ages. Parks’s name is legally spelled “Susan,” but after it was misspelled “Suzan” on an announcement for one of her first plays, she decided to let the new spelling stick.