Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom by August Wilson (1984)

One of the all time greats.


  • Sturdyvant and Irvin set it up
  • Ma is a problem and they have to handle her
  • They have a list of songs for her
  • Cutler, Slow Drag, Toledo arrive
  • Only Toledo can read
  • Where is Ma?
  • Where is Levee?
  • Levee arrives with new shoes
  • Slow Drag: “I wanna get out of here.”
  • Cutler: “You play Ma’s music.”
  • Levee can’t spell music.
  • Levee in conflict with the band
  • Where’s Ma?
  • Ma’s gonna do what she wants to do