Onaje

Reno, 1980. A black hitchhiker is hit by a white cowboy and waitress speeding down the freeway on a getaway. They become an unlikely trio as they bond through humor and observations, then realize that two of them are inextricably linked through long-buried secrets of their past. They are forced to return to everything they escaped and stand up against their deepest fears in a vicious stand-off. “Onaje” is set...
Reno, 1980. A black hitchhiker is hit by a white cowboy and waitress speeding down the freeway on a getaway. They become an unlikely trio as they bond through humor and observations, then realize that two of them are inextricably linked through long-buried secrets of their past. They are forced to return to everything they escaped and stand up against their deepest fears in a vicious stand-off. “Onaje” is set in two worlds, Maryland 1980, and the civil rights riots in the Eastern shore in 1967. “Onaje” is a riveting story about working class Americans, and the long journey from violent racism to the seed of a hopeful future.
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Onaje

Character Information

  • Sarah Claggett
    50s,
    Black
    ,
    Female
    Dan’s wife. Black, in her early 50s, she is dressed in work clothes that are informal, but clean and neat.
  • Richard Middleman Sr.
    50s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    A white man in his mid 50s. An alcoholic Chesapeake Bay waterman dressed in
    working clothes and work boots.
  • Richard Middleman Jr.
    early 30s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    A white man in his early 30s who is overdressed in completely new cowboy clothes.
  • Onaje (William) Claggett
    30s,
    Black
    ,
    Male
    A black man in his mid-30s, who is
    lonely from his long exile on the road. He is dressed in an
    old bomber jacket, work pants and work boots, all extremely
    dusty and worn. He carries a duffle bag and sextant for
    navigation.
  • Henderson
    early 50s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    A white ex-policeman in his early 50s, who is dressed in a work shirt and work pants but wears a policeman’s hat.
  • Dan Claggett
    50s,
    Black
    ,
    Male
    A black man in his mid 50s. A solid Chesapeake
    Bay waterman and factory worker dressed in work clothes and work boots. He is the patriarch of his family.
  • Belle
    late 20s,
    White
    ,
    Female
    A white woman in her late 20s who is sassy, streetsavvy, and attractive. She is dressed as a Reno truck stop
    waitress.
  • Andrew
    teens-20s,
    White
    ,
    Male
    A white boy in his late teens or early 20s, he is an affable, naïve, hitchhiker in a faded madras shirt, khaki pants and work boots. He is a civil rights worker of the 60s vintage.

Development History

  • Reading
    ,
    National Opera Center
    ,
    2019
  • Reading
    ,
    Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills
    ,
    2018
  • Reading
    ,
    Blue Panther Productions, New York City
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    African-American Shakespeare Company, San Francisco
    ,
    2017

Production History

  • Fringe
    ,
    NY Fringe Festival
    ,
    2018