blackbird spring 2002 vol.1 no. 1



Garden Spot, U.S.A.

Garden Spot, U.S.A. by George Garrett was one of the first of a group of plays commissioned by the Ford Foundation in the early 1960’s to foster new writing for the American theatre. Blackbird, in a spirit of rediscovery, will, over the next few issues, publish those plays that we can find that are available. The authors who were chosen by the Foundation for the project had not previously written plays, and the Foundation’s choices were made in consultation with the directors who staged the plays. Garden Spot, U.S.A itself was produced by the Alley Theatre in Houston, Texas, and was directed by Nina Vance in a full, professional production that ran for six weeks. The author paired through the Ford Foundation with Garrett in that Alley Theatre season was poet Richard Wilbur, whose first Moliere translation served as his contribution.

Garrett envisioned his play as a comedy influenced by the stagecraft of Bertolt Brecht, and like Brecht, he relies on archetypes for the characters and on a portrait of a community for its milieu. We are grateful to George Garrett for the chance to present this lively artifact from his long and distinguished work in American letters. In the spring, we will bring you poet William Jay Smith’s The Straw Market.