Les Blancs


Writers: Lorraine Hansberry Robert Nemiroff


Show Information

Number of Acts
First Produced
Multiple Settings
Time & Place
Zatembe (a fictional African nation)
Cast Size
Ideal for
Diverse Cast, Professional Theatre, Regional Theatre, College/University
Casting Notes
Mostly male cast
Includes adult, mature adult, elderly, late teen, young adult characters


Against the backdrop of a white Christian mission, nestled in the heart of an African colony on the brink of revolution, Les Blancs takes a hard look at the complex consequences of both white colonialism and black liberation. Central to the narrative is Tshembe Matoseh, the educated son of a village chief who left Africa to find fortune and a new life in the West. He is now a successful businessman, with a European wife and child back home in London. He arrives in his homeland to bury his father but is greeted with more than he bargained for. The rebellion from which he escaped has reached its height, racial tensions are about to explode, and he must choose which side to take. If there even is a side at all? Added to this, Tshembe discovers that his younger, bi-racial brother Eric is an alcoholic and his older brother has become a Christian priest and a traitor to those he grew up with. Despite his determination to return home unscathed, Tshembe finds himself drawn into the conflict, as symbolized by a mysterious dancing female who represents the Spirit of Africa and all that he left behind.

Lead Characters

Les Blancs guide sections