Prospero's Bookshelf

Honey Holler, 1930 Keith Mackaye

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Honey Holler, 1930 is an avant-guarde philosophical drama by Keith Mackaye employing a natural symbolic experimentation and featuring an African American protagonist.

Mackaye tells a compelling and challenging story of mystery, myth, reality and idealism.

  • The setting is the poverty and ignorance of rural hill people living on the border between New York and Connecticut.
  • The play uses dialect and a single set, a farmhouse
  • A rare publication, the play includes a perceptive introductory analysis by critic Oliver M. Sayler
  • Includes four revealing woodcuts by the dramatist.

To appreciate the character of this play by Keith Mackaye (1899-1992), It may be helpful to know him as

  • the son of Percy Mackaye, whose imaginative pageants or "community dramas" featured hundreds and entertained thousands,
  • and the grandson of Steel Mackaye whose dramatic extravaganzas were a memorable attraction for the Chicago World's Fair in 1893.

In 1930 this play was not attractive to New York producers who were having economic problems at the time. On January 16, 1931 the following ad appeared in the Harvard Crimson:

"At private performances in the Rogers Building tonight and tomorrow night "Honey Holler", by Keith Mackaye, will be presented for the first time in the Cambridge School of the Drama's maiden production."

It appears not to have had a professional production.

This copy is a first edition in fair condition. The cover shows shelf wear from a public library which left its usual markings on the inside of the cover. The binding is weak at the flyleaf and the pages are well browned, but there are no inside markings or tears. It measures 5 1/4 inches by  7 3/4 inches by 1 inch and has 201 pages.


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