Joshua's Library

Tallboy Walkin'
A Full-length play
Joshua James

Tallboy Walkin' is the story of five different men, of different ages and ethnic backgrounds, who find themselves stranded at a bus stop late at night in a dangerous urban city. A confrontation between two men, men of color, holds the other three men as their unwilling captive audience, trapped by circumstances, a late bus and the presence of a loaded firearm. A high-wire meditation on race, religion and the comedy of life, Tallboy Walkin' asks the question all of us at some point have to answer.

Cast Requirements

Five Men total:

An older man in his late sixties.
A young man in his late twenties, from Ireland.
A writer in his early-thirties.
A tall athletic black man in his mid-thirties.
A young black man in his late teens.

Set Requirements

One set, which is a bus stop late at night.

Running time, 85-90 minutes, no break or intermission.

Production History

Originally performed as a staged reading at Rich Forum, Stamford Center for the Arts, Stamford CT, directed by George E. Moredock III.

The play was also work-shopped by JLA Productions and The Riant Theatre, with additional readings at The Barrow Group and Manhattan Theatre Source.

You look at him, you don't see a kid. You see black. Don't try and tell me you don't, I know it, you know it and he knows it. When you see black on the street, you don't look black in the eye, when black moves close to you on the bus, you instinctively step away, you instinctively feel for your valuables, when you see black on the street you fucking stop and you know it. It stops you and it stops him. It doesn't happen with white kids, it doesn't happen with Asian kids or Irish kids, it happens with black, black stops you. You can go to as many rallies and political meetings and join the NAACP all you want, but as long as black stops you and him you're not getting anywhere fast. You may have grown up in the neighborhood, you may have had some hard knocks, but you're not like him. Not even close. You're white and you got out. He's not and he didn't.

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