Welcome to Fear City

It is July 1977 and the South Bronx is HOT: from a heat wave, from this new thing that would come to be known as “hip-hop,” and from an astounding number of fires burning the borough to the ground. E, a young African-American man, dreams of being a poet, but unemployment, a raging fiscal crisis, and a family on the brink of disaster drive him to ask a dangerous question: Can you love your ‘hood if you take part...
It is July 1977 and the South Bronx is HOT: from a heat wave, from this new thing that would come to be known as “hip-hop,” and from an astounding number of fires burning the borough to the ground. E, a young African-American man, dreams of being a poet, but unemployment, a raging fiscal crisis, and a family on the brink of disaster drive him to ask a dangerous question: Can you love your ‘hood if you take part in its destruction? WELCOME TO FEAR CITY is about a community trying to get by in the midst of crime, social apathy, poverty, and a whole new art form that’s about to electrify the world.
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Welcome to Fear City

Recommended by

  • Benjamin Benne:
    11 Jan. 2019
    Beautifully rendered relationships in a wonderfully paced play whose world unfolds with many layers of reality; and yet, it all feels cohesive. It is a work that is uniquely and essentially theatrical. Also, the rat.
  • Christine Evans:
    14 Aug. 2017
    A play with a talking rat, the Bronx burning--and hip-hop! Ruthless real-estate profiteering stalks in the background, pushing a young black man to make a dangerous choice. I loved the nuanced characters, the vivid sense of a time and place, and the fierce fire at the heart of this play. Wry, funny, tragic, and scalpel-sharp in its dissection of the ties that bind--both family and community. A gorgeous play.
  • Eugene O'Neill Theater Center:
    12 May. 2017
    It is the Eugene O'Neill Theater Center's pleasure to recommend Kara Lee Corthron and their play Welcome to Fear City as a finalist for our 2015 National Playwrights Conference. The play rose through a competitive, anonymous, multileveled selection process that took nearly nine months to execute. As one finalist out of hundreds of submissions, the strength of this play’s writing has allowed this work to prosper in such a competitive selection process.

Development History

  • Workshop
    ,
    PlayPenn Mini-Conference
    ,
    2017
  • Reading
    ,
    Labyrinth Theater Company
    ,
    2016
  • Workshop
    ,
    Atlantic Theater Company
    ,
    2016
  • Workshop
    ,
    The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep
    ,
    2014

Production History

  • Professional
    ,
    Kansas City Rep
    ,
    2018
  • Professional
    ,
    Contemporary American Theatre Festival
    ,
    2017