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

  • Dave Osmundsen:
    1 Jan. 2020
    A warm, heartfelt, and time-bending journey into the past for an African American woman who is coming to terms with her history, both familial and social. The play builds up to a surprising and moving conclusion that leaves the audience thinking about how we look at the present as well as the past. Also provides juicy roles for African American actresses.
  • Jessie Salsbury:
    17 Feb. 2019
    I have had the wonderful privilege to see this great work through workshop (OCTA) and now in full production (KCMPT) - both in the Kansas City market. There is not a play like it - historical, funny, poignant - Beautiful hints of Wizard of Oz woven into a history lesson. Michelle Tyrene Johnson puts her heart into her work, and her women in this play are absolutely incandescent. All theatres should add this one to their season.
  • George Sapio:
    8 Jan. 2019
    What a remarkable work. Full of passion, compassion, heart, and faultless truth. And more than its share of wicked lines. I would love to see this onstage.

Development History

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

Production History

  • Workshop
    ,
    KC Melting Pot Theatre
    ,
    2019

Awards

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