The Green Book Wine Club Train Trip

Five African-American women board a train in Kansas City, friends convening for a movable feast of good wine and impromptu book chat. When one, the ruminative, ever curious librarian Marie gets off, the contemporary world disappears in a flash and time itself collapses around her. Suddenly, she's very alone and in the stark, informally segregated Booneville depot. It's the ripe, slower-paced, Billie...
Five African-American women board a train in Kansas City, friends convening for a movable feast of good wine and impromptu book chat. When one, the ruminative, ever curious librarian Marie gets off, the contemporary world disappears in a flash and time itself collapses around her. Suddenly, she's very alone and in the stark, informally segregated Booneville depot. It's the ripe, slower-paced, Billie Holiday-infused but palpably dangerous 1940s Midwest, and Marie, armed only with her grandmother's out-of-print guide, The Negro Motorist Greenbook, must negotiate the threatening landscape of Jim Crow. She's befriended by the sharp-tongued, pragmatically savvy owner of a "colored" brothel, and in short order introduced to another America: where covert transactional assignations are the stuff of hardscrabble survival, and black women must carve out decent lives in the midst of staggering odds. How will Marie get back to her comfy train car of smart-phones and glib, R&R obsessed contemporary peers? What will she be forced to reckon with, plopped in the middle of a richly textured, sometimes sweet, sometimes melancholy, often oppressive pre-ascendant civil rights climate? Where at any moment, lives are at stake, violent death a reality? With heart and non-stop humor, The Green Book Wine Club Train Trip plunges its unlikely heroine into an unexpected, deeply personal quest, one ultimately arming her with a brand new perspective and maybe even wisdom.
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The Green Book Wine Club Train Trip

Recommended by

  • Emily Hageman:
    27 May. 2018
    Gorgeous play. It wouldn't do this show justice to simply call it a modern adaptation of "The Wizard of Oz" (though there are beautiful corollaries). This is a marvelous play, a mystical story about a very real woman thrown into a very unreal circumstance. The story is liquid and effortless, the characters are memorable and striking, and Johnson holds the heart of this play so carefully in the palm of her hand. Is life really better now than it was then? Johnson gives us an important reminder that life is beautiful wherever there is love. Highly recommended.
  • Kitchen Dog Theater:
    25 Apr. 2018
    We are pleased to support this play! It was a Finalist for the 2018 New Works Festival at Kitchen Dog Theater in Dallas, Texas.
  • Claudia Haas:
    25 Apr. 2018
    This needs to be a trilogy. I was left wanting more - a whole lot more. This exploration of relationships (Johnson covers every type of relationship known to humanity) was beautiful and always surprising. The time travel was seamlessly interwoven as plots and subplots took root and blossomed. The care put into the two time periods took away any assumptions I had (as with Marie). The dialogue crackles, the characters envelop you and the pace is swift and sure. I so want to see this onstage. (Please, Twin Cities.)

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    Olathe (Ks) Civic Theatre Association
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    National Black Theatre (NYC)
    ,
    2017

Awards

Winner
,
New Works Play Competition
,
Olathe Civic Theatre Association
,
2017