Written by Suzan-Lori Parks
September 29 – October 22, 2023

Offered his freedom if he joins his enslaver in the ranks of the Confederacy, Hero, an enslaved Black man, must choose whether to leave the woman and people he loves for what may be yet another empty promise. As his decision brings him face-to-face with a nation at war with itself, the loved ones Hero left behind debate whether to escape or wait for his return…only to discover that for Hero, free will may have come at a great spiritual cost.

Father Comes Home From the Wars is an explosively powerful drama about the mess of war, the cost of freedom, and the heartbreak of love, with all three parts seen in one night. Part 1 introduces us to Hero. In Part 2, a band of rebel soldiers test Hero’s loyalty as the cannons approach. Part 3 finds Hero’s loved ones anxiously awaiting his return.

A devastatingly beautiful dramatic work filled with music, wit, and great lyricism, Father Comes Home From the Wars is an epic tale about holding on to who we are and what we love in a country that both brings us together and rips us apart.

Finalist: 2015 Pulitzer Prize for Drama

Winner! 2015 Obie Award for Playwriting

Approximate run time: 2 hours and 50 minutes, including one 20-minute intermission.

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For 14 years Hattiloo has been a powerful voice for Memphis: part entertainer, part teacher; part historian, part visionary; and always a resource for Black artists. While these times of uncertainty and social unrest have made it challenging to operate, our mission has never been so important. Through financial hardships, our work continues.

Preparing for Tomorrow

We’ve adapted to serve the community while in-person engagement is limited.

  • Free online programming in youth acting and technical theatre
  • Free five-week playwright’s workshop
  • Free Zoom panel discussions with national figures in Black theatre

Maintaining the Present

While we’re open, it’s to a third of our regular capacity, and your donation helps us meet our administrative costs.

  • Utilities, phones, internet, and office equipment
  • HVAC, plumbing and grounds maintenance
  • Insurance, staff salaries, taxes and benefits
  • CPA, graphic artist

Investing in the Future

Our commitment to build the legacy of Black theatre has not wavered.

  • Virtual workshops to hone actors’ skills
  • Commissioning new plays with groundbreaking content about modern Black life in the Mid-South.
  • Long-term succession planning

Hattiloo is being supported, in whole or in part, by federal award number SLFRP5534 awarded to the State of Tennessee by the U.S. Department of Treasury.