Addae Moon first read “Gone With The Wind” last year. He’d seen the movie made from Atlanta writer Margaret Mitchell’s novel, but had never read the book itself.
Surprisingly, the 43-year-old black writer found he liked some things about the 79-year-old novel. Not everything, of course. “I got frustrated with it,” he said. “I had to put it down because I got angry.” But he’d pick it up later and keep going. “I totally understand Margaret’s desire to tell your point of view and your truth, but I also can understand what it feels like to be the victim of someone else’s truth,” he said.
Now he wants others to take a new look at “Gone With The Wind.”
Moon, director of theater at the Atlanta History Center, writes history pieces to be performed at the center. Most create characters to appear as part of the center’s historic presentations.
He’s done pieces about the Atlanta race riots in 1906 and about a slave potter. Usually, the pieces are designed to add diversity to the museum’s displays. On March 27 and 28, the History Center will stage a new short play by Moon built around a discussion of racial and social issues raised by Mitchell’s novel.
“Tomorrow Is Another Day,” set in Mitchell’s home the day before the Atlanta premiere of the movie version of her book, imagines a conversation between Mitchell, her husband, John Marsh, and their maid, Jessie, who Moon said “has some issues” about the book.
Moon, taking a break during a recent rehearsal of the play he wrote and also directs, said he wanted to write about Mitchell and “Gone With The Wind” because the book still looms large in popular culture. “It still resonates with Americans for some reason,” he said.
The novel is regularly listed among the most popular books in the country, he said, and the movie, along with the film “Birth Of A Nation,” have played a role in race relations in the U.S. “It’s easy to be critical of the movie, which is more cartoonish,” he said, “but, to me, the book is so much more complex.”
He hopes his play will convince people to think about the novel, and then to talk about the book, and about race and racial divisions in the U.S.
“I want people to read the book,” he said. “I think every American needs to read that book. … A lot of things in the book are things we’re still dealing with.”
‘Tomorrow Is Another Day’
An original play by Atlanta History Center staff member Addae Moon, set in the home of Atlanta author Margaret Mitchell on the day before the premiere of the film of her novel, “Gone With The Wind,” examines issues raised by the novel.
When: 7:30 p.m. March 27 and 2 p.m. March 28
Where: Atlanta History Center, 130 W. Paces Ferry Road, NW
How much? $20, $15 for museum members