The Great MacDaddy
– a statement from the author.
The Great MacDaddy has always been one of my favorite theatrical challenges. It required that I take a close look at the magical universe of Amos Tutuola’s The Palm Wine Drinkard to determine what these Nigerian mythic figures shared in common with African American mythic characters. Once the connection was established, I was able to erect a mine-filed of antagonisms that the young, untutored MacDaddy had to negotiate during his odyssey toward enlightenment. Resurrected from the American urban and rural Oral Tradition were such mythic characters as the Signifyin’ Monkey, Shine, Stagolee, Gut Buckett, and old Gran Dad who became sentinel, yet amusing guideposts toward new illumination. So, as Young Mac Daddy sets out on his ten decade time-travelling odyssey, armored only with the legacy of his departed father, the Big Mac Daddy, a legendary provider of fast life pleasures, he crosses the American landscape with its many hostilities and discovers a Great Ancestor in South Carolina who instructs him that being The Great Mac Daddy signifies that one must become a Patriarch of a community.
After more than 30 years since its original production at The NEC, it is gratifying to realize, perhaps that due to its classic style The Great Mac Daddy still has the potential to resonate with an entirely new audience.
Paul carter Harrison- 2010