The place is Chicago’s south side and the time the 1950s, just before the civil rights movement began to burgeon. Alberta (Kimberly Webb, pictured center), unmarried and in her thirties, shares an apartment with her mother Weedy (Cassandra Small, pictured right), an old-fashioned black woman who finds solace for her troubles in religion. Their constant visitor is Weedy’s brother (Alan Bomar Jones), a sporty, down-on-his-luck gambling man who is the despair of his strait-laced sister. Blind Jordan (Ron Bobb-Semple, pictured left), a wandering street singer, shows up at their door searching for a woman he once knew. Alberta offers to help him in his quest, and when they are alone, all the emotional and sexual frustrations struggling within her bursts forth. Out of the unsettling nature of their encounter comes estrangement between mother and daughter, which subsides to an uneasy truce when Blind Jordan departs – leaving behind a disturbing awareness of much that has been lost or changed, and of much greater change still to come. “The Sty of the Blind Pig” won the Drama Desk and other awards when first produced in 1971.
Ruth Steiner (Sara Morsey, right) is a celebrated writer having burst on to the literary scene with a book of short stories when she was in her early 20s. Her fame and promise were short lived as she quickly faded as a published writer. She has maintained her place in the literary society of New York as a teacher of writing and a nurturer of writing talent. Lisa Morrison (Kim Stephenson, left) is Ruth’s student turned confidante turned competitor – for her first novel, Lisa has cannibalized Ruth’s experiences, most specifically her youthful, shattering affair with the poet Delmore Schwartz. Directed by Howard Millman, this story will keep you engaged to the surprising conclusion.