Who Will Sing for Lena

In 1944 a black domestic woman in Cuthbert, Georgia killed her long-time white lover/abuser after a night of drinking and arguing. He had kept her imprisoned in his mill for an entire day, then returned to have forced sex with her. She refused, they fought, she killed him. Lena was arrested that day in April. Her trial was held in August and lasted only four ½ hours. The deliberation of the jury of twelve...
In 1944 a black domestic woman in Cuthbert, Georgia killed her long-time white lover/abuser after a night of drinking and arguing. He had kept her imprisoned in his mill for an entire day, then returned to have forced sex with her. She refused, they fought, she killed him. Lena was arrested that day in April. Her trial was held in August and lasted only four ½ hours. The deliberation of the jury of twelve white men lasted ½ hour on the same day. She was found guilty and was sentenced to die. In March, 1945 Lena was transferred to Reidsville Prison, a male prison and where she became the first and only woman to die in Georgia’s electric chair. On August 30, 2005, Ms. Lena Baker was finally granted a posthumous pardon by the State of Georgia Pardons and Parole Board in a ceremony attended by the playwright in Atlanta, Georgia.
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Who Will Sing for Lena

Recommended by

  • Chelsea Frandsen:
    27 Jul. 2022
    One of the best solo plays I've read in a long time. This piece, is agonizing, timely, important. Lena is a woman I will never forget.
  • Emma Goldman-Sherman:
    6 Feb. 2022
    BRILLIANT, 1 of the most theatrical, moving experiences I've ever had (and I saw it online), this play sings/moans & begs us to pay attention, and I will never forget. Liddell uses her incredible gifts of language and focus so that 1 actor/character and her pov inhabits a whole world (not by shifting into other characters) but by staying with the story, with the body, with the experience from Lena's point of view in such a way that it remains emblazoned on my memory. A great blessing!
  • Marj O'Neill-Butler:
    20 Feb. 2020
    This long monologue is enlightening, historical and above all sad. Sad because a woman, especially a black woman, in the 40's had few choices about her life. Liddell brings Lena to life. We see her, we feel for her, we agonize for her. A really special piece.

Character Information

  • Lena Mae Baker
    45,
    African / African American / Black
    ,
    woman
    Lena is a Black, poor domestic and looks the role.

Production History

  • Community Theater
    ,
    Mondial du Theatre, Monaco (International Festival of Amateur Theatres)
    ,
    2021
  • Community Theater
    ,
    The Lexington Players
    ,
    2020
  • Professional
    ,
    Haymarket Theatre
    ,
    2019
  • Professional
    ,
    Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, Atlanta, GA
    ,
    2016
  • Professional
    ,
    United Solo Theatre Festival, NYC
    ,
    2016
  • Professional
    ,
    Hickory North Carolina, Hickory Community Theatre
    ,
    2014
  • Professional
    ,
    Denver, Colorado, And Toto Too Theatre,
    ,
    2014
  • University
    ,
    Walthan MA, Brandeis University, Conference: “Disrupting the Script: Raising to Legal Consciousness Sexual Assault Against Black Women,” Convened by Drs. Anita Hill
    ,
    2012
  • University
    ,
    Mumbai, India, Women Playwrights International Conference
    ,
    2010
  • High School
    ,
    Montego Bay, Jamaica., St. James College
    ,
    2010
  • Fringe
    ,
    Edinburgh Scotland, Edinburgh Festival Fringe,
    ,
    2009
  • Professional
    ,
    Nashville TN, Tennessee Women’s Theater Project, (A, Looby Theater)
    ,
    2009
  • Professional
    ,
    Winston-Salem, NC, National Black Theatre Festival
    ,
    2009
  • Professional
    ,
    the 14th Annual Los Angeles Women’s Theatre Festival 2007: “CROSSING THE LINE”.
    ,
    2008
  • Professional
    ,
    Sand Springs Oklahoma, Sand Spring Theatre,
    ,
    2007
  • Professional
    ,
    Alexandria, LA—American Association of Community Theatre’s Region VI Festival (Theatre North)
    ,
    2007
  • Professional
    ,
    Charlotte, N.C.—American Association of Community Theatre’s National Festival (Theatre North)
    ,
    2007
  • Professional
    ,
    DeLand FL--DeLAND Theatre Festival
    ,
    2007
  • Professional
    ,
    Theatre North Production, Tulsa OK
    ,
    2006
  • Professional
    ,
    Bliss Center for the Performing Arts, Belize City Belize
    ,
    2006
  • Professional
    ,
    Oklahoma Community Theatre Association (OCTA), Theatre North
    ,
    2006
  • Professional
    ,
    Where Eagles Dare Theatre (High Heel Production), NYC
    ,
    2006

Awards

Winner
,
Overall Outstanding Production-
,
American Associaton of Community Theatre (AACT) national competition:
,
2019
Winner
,
Outstanding Achievement in a Leading Role--Jessica Washington
,
2019 American Associaton of Community Theatre (AACT) national competition:
,
2019
Winner
,
Outstanding Theatrical Moment--The Assault Sequence
,
American Associaton of Community Theatre (AACT) national competition
,
2019
Audience Choice
,
People’s Choice Favorite Actress--Jessica Washington
,
American Associaton of Community Theatre (AACT) national competition
,
2019
Winner
,
Best Play of Festival
,
Atlanta Black Theatre Festival, Atlanta, GA
,
2016
Winner
,
Best Documentary
,
United Solo Theatre Festival
,
2016
Winner
,
Best Actress
,
American Association of Community Theatre’s National Festival
,
2007
Earned OCTAFEST 1st Place, All State Cast
,
Oklahoma at the American Association of Community Theatre
,
2006
Earned OCTAFEST 1st Place, Best Technical Achievement Design
,
Oklahoma at the American Association of Community Theatre's Region VI Festival
,
2006
Semi-Finalist
,
Actor Boy Award nominations (Jamaica’s national awards in theatre) • Best Director • Best Actress • Best Production • Best Drama
,
International Theatre Institute (ITI) Jamaica Centre
,
2006
Winner
,
Actor Boy Award, Best Actress
,
International Theatre Institute (ITI) Jamaica Centre
,
2006