Cover art by Julie Summers, courtesy of the University of Tennessee Research Foundation

People Where They Are

Anthony Clarvoe
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Inspired by true events: on a Tennessee hilltop, heroes in training meet in secret. All are changed. Some change America.

Production Info

Cast: 6 total (3 female, 3 male)
Full Length Drama (about 110 minutes)
Minimal Set Requirements
Period Costumes

Press Quotes

“In the spring of 1955, much of the Southern US was a simmering kettle of racial segregation, civil rights repression, and worker/workplace abuses — one that was on the verge of boiling over into a full scale struggle against those economic and civil rights injustices. With that time and atmosphere of conflict as a starting point, playwright Anthony Clarvoe has focused in on the rural Grundy County of 1955 Tennessee and the organization known then as the Highlander Folk School for his new play, PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE … While the story of Highlander and its goals of educating and agitating for change may be an unfamiliar or misunderstood one among today’s audience, Clarvoe has succeeded with a superbly compelling narrative that reveals and explains. Most importantly, he draws important parallels between the racial and socioeconomic struggles of the 1950s and 60s and similar issues that face contemporary American society such as immigration, voter suppression, and LGBTQ rights. The storyline of PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE is constructed around an educational session at the Highlander Folk School in the pre-Montgomery bus boycott days of 1955, involving four invited, outsider ‘students’ along with the group leader, Mrs Clark and a helper, Mr Carawan. [Note: Clark and Carawan are based on the real-life Septima Clark and musician Guy Carawan.] The visitors are May, a mountain housewife turned labor organizer; Emma, a Mexican-American suffering from ethnic and class abuse; Ned, a compromised white man from the Atlanta office of the CIO; and John, a northern black man who presents himself initially as the son of a minister. As their session moves into a second day, personal stories begin to flow and character complexities emerge allowing each actor to paint a portrayal that not only reveals their character, but ties in subject matter relevant to an audience in 2019 … While I rarely make such a direct and obvious recommendation, I am suggesting that all theatre-goers place PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE on their must-go list … This is brilliant theatre.” —Alan Sherrod, ArtsKnoxville

About the Author


  • Anthony Clarvoe

    Anthony Clarvoe’s plays PICK UP AX, SHOW AND TELL, THE LIVING, LET’S PLAY TWO, THE BROTHERS KARAMAZOV, AMBITION FACING WEST, WALKING OFF THE ROOF, CTRL+ALT+DELETE, THE ART OF SACRIFICE, GUNPOWDER JOE, and PEOPLE WHERE THEY ARE and his translations of Henrik Ibsen’s GHOSTS and THE WILD DUCK are published by Broadway Play Publishing, Inc. He has received American Theatre Critics, Will Glickman, Bay Area Theatre Critics, Los Angeles Drama Critics, Garland, Elliot Norton, and Edgerton New American Play awards; fellowships from the Guggenheim, Irvine, Jerome, and McKnight Foundations, National Endowment for the Arts, Theater Communications Group/Pew Charitable Trusts, and Kennedy Center; commissions from South Coast Rep, Mark Taper Forum, and Playwrights Horizons; the Berrilla Kerr Award for his contributions to American theater; and many others. He teaches dramatic literature at OLLI@UC Berkeley and playwriting in Oakland, CA. A native San Franciscan and long-time resident of New York City and the Midwest, he lives with his family in Berkeley, CA.

About the Book

Book Information

Publisher BPPI
Publication Date 11/10/2020
Pages 94
ISBN 9780881458671

Special Notes

Special Notes

Licensees are required to include the original stage producers credits in the following form on the title page in all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play and in all advertising in which the full cast appears in size of type not less than ten percent (10%) of the size of the title of the Play:
The following must appear within all programs distributed in connection with performances of the Play:
People Where They Are is produced
by special arrangement with Broadway Play Publishing Inc, NYC