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THE DARKER FACE OF THE EARTH by Rita Dove. Story Line Press, 1996, 162 pages.

The Tragic Turns of Interracial Love

Pulitzer Prize-winning poet Rita Dove’s tragic drama “The Darker Face of the Earth” reimagines the Greek legend of Oedipus as a tale of miscegenation on a South Carolina slave plantation.

The play will have its regional premiere by Essential Theatre at 8 p.m. Thursday, July 8, at Actor’s Express, at the King Plow Arts Center.

Praised for its psychological dynamics and theatrical spectacle of slave rituals, spells and a slave chorus, “The Darker Face of the Earth” has been previously staged at the Kennedy Center and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Betty Hart directs the Atlanta production as part of Essential Theatre’s 12th Annual Play Festival, running in July and August.

Playwright Dove, a former U.S. poet laureate, will be present for a champagne reception from 7 to 8 p.m. Tickets for the performance and VIP reception are $28 purchased in advance online, $30 at the door. General admission is $18 advance, $20 at the door. For more information, call 800-595-4849 or visit

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