NourbeSe Philip has written three plays, Coups and Calypsos (1996), Harriet’s Daughter (2000) -a stage adaptation of her popular novel for young adults-  and the Redemption of Al Bumen (A Morality Play) -1993

Coups and Calypsos

Coups-LondonPromo“A brilliant drama of race and identity” – 1996

This Play was first workshoped by Cahoots Theatre to critical acclaim. “Mixing politics and personality, the play takes place in Tobago in 1990 during an attempted coup be (Black Muslims). This volatile backdrop is the setting for a reunion of an estranged mixed-race couple confined indoors by a curfew and the implied threat of violence”. The Toronto Star critic goes on to say that “the strength of the writing lies in the credibility and complexity of the characters”

At the beginning of 1999 the play was simultaneously produced by Cahoots in Toronto and by Talawa Theatre in London England.

The script  of Coups and Calypsos, has been published by Mercury Press (2001), Playwrights Union of Canada (1999) and in the anthology Testifyin’ -Contemporary African Canadian drama, Playwrights Canada Press (2001). Excerpts of the script have also been published  in Conjunto: Revista de teatro latinoamericano, Casa de las Americas (2003)  and Beyond the Pale, (1996) . (See the Bibliography for more publication details)

Harriet’s Daughter






The script for this stage adaptation of the novel was written by NourbeSe Philip. The play has been successfully workshopped by b current in both 2000 and 2001.

This workshop production was directed by ahdri zhina mandiela with  Raven Dauda and Ngozi Paul in the lead roles.





Redemption of Al Bumen (A Morality Play)

This one act play was published as part of the second edition of Showing Grit, an extended essay about the Toronto revival of the musical Show Boat by Garth Dabrinsky. The play imagines an often humorous and always salutary confrontation between Al Bumen, a powerful white businessman and impresario, with five even more powerful Black women.

“The Redemption of Al Bumen,” Showing Grit: Showboating North of the 44th Parallel, Poui Publications, Toronto, 1994