The Haitian Chronicles By Douglas Turner Ward
The Haitian Chronicles is a graphic and brutal history of the Haitian Revolution told across 3 plays. It is the latest work by the influential and ground-breaking playwright Douglas Turner Ward and the first play of his to be published in several decades. Though much of his earlier work has been short one-act satires, The Haitian Chronicles takes place across three long plays: The Rise of Toussaint, The Fall of Toussaint and the one-man drama, Dessalines. Previously unpublished and as yet unperformed, The Haitian Chronicles is part of Ward's political project of satirizing, dramatizing, and revealing the structures of white supremacy throughout the history of this so-called civilization. His first play, Star of Liberty, written at 19 years of age, followed the life of Nat Turner and his slave revolt. With The Haitian Chronicles Ward returns to armed Black rebellion, taking as its subject matter the first and only slave revolt to successfully establish a free state. It is a self-consciously ambitious work of astounding narrative and theatrical scope, featuring over 80 speaking roles and logistically demanding production design. The narrative onslaught chronicling the disgusting brutality of colonial French society and the bloody force it took to overthrow it overwhelms the reader and challenges one to question the structures on which society is built and the violence it continues to perpetuate.