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Theodore Ward

September 15, 1902 – May 8, 1983

Inducted in 2015


Sick and Tiahd (1937)

Big White Fog: A Negro Tragedy (1938)

Even the Dead Arise (1938)

Deliver the Goods (1942)

Our Lan' (1947)

John Brown (1951)

The Daubers (1953)

Candle in the Wind (1967)

The Creole

Whole Hog or Nothing


Skin Deep

Shout Hallelujah

Falcon of Adowa



John de Conqueror

(Photo Copyright (c) 2015 Elise Virginia Ward)
But what’s there to prevent all the underprivileged from getting together on problems in which they have a common interest? — From Big White Fog

Political playwright Theodore Ward used his writing to help contribute to the success and continuation of art during the Great Depression. Originally born in Louisiana, Ward left his hometown of Thibodaux, Louisiana at 13 and traveled extensively in the United States, picking up work as a book-black and bellboy. He attended the University of Utah and while there wrote an article that earned him a scholarship to the University of Wisconsin, where he hosted a local radio program. In Chicago, Ward taught at the Lincoln Center Players, and the friendship he formed with Richard Wright led him to join the Southside Writer’s Club. It was in his job with the Chicago Negro unit that Ward created Big White Fog, a play that none-too-subtly argues that America’s capitalist and racism system disallowed many people from participating in our country’s supposed right to aspire to greater class heights. He was one of the first Black dramatists to win the Guggenheim Fellowship, which allowed him to push his career forward and publish thirty plays. His legacy lives on through scholarships offered in his honor to African-American writers.

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