Welcome to Fear City
It is July 1977 and the South Bronx is HOT: from a heat wave, from this new thing that would come to be known as “hip-hop,” and from an astounding number of fires burning the borough to the ground. E, a young African-American man, dreams of being a poet, but unemployment, a raging fiscal crisis, and a family on the brink of disaster drive him to ask a dangerous question: Can you love your ‘hood if you take part in its destruction? Welcome to Fear City is about a community trying to get by in the midst of crime, social apathy, poverty, and a whole new art form that’s about to electrify the world.
Areas in and near a housing project in the South Bronx in July 1977. The set should be simple as scenes may shift quickly and most of the locations—the apartment, the grocery store, etc.—all have a uniform drab quality. Only the rec room, which is the party room should be vibrant and colorful. Around the periphery should be the sense of ruins—the burned-out Bronx that has become a normal part of life—and some of it should be adorned with less-than-beautiful graffiti.
Production and Development History
Development: The Ground Floor at Berkeley Rep, Bay Area Playwrights Festival