1.1 Levee wants his song to be played
instead of Ma's arrangment of the
song, so she fires him. Levee then
has a conversation with Sturdyvant
about his songs. He wants him to
buy them, but he only offers five
1.2 Ma Rainey finally shows up with her
nephew, Sylvester, Dussie May and an
officer. Ma's was in a car accident and the
officer wants to put Sylvester under arrest.
1.3 They finally start recording the song and
it doe not record so Irvin tries to fix it.
When they are fixing it is when the band
starts to tell diffenrt stories. This ends
with Levee shouting at God and point a
1.4 The band shows up to the
recording stuido and they can no
decide if they are going to play
Levees song arrangment or Ma
Rainey's. They are waiting for her
to arrive to start the recording.
1.5 At the end of the play
Toledo accidentally steps
on Levee's new shoes.
Things get heated and
Levee stabs Toledo in the
back and kills him.
2.1 Levee, Cutler, Slow Drag, and Toledo- All members
of the Band. They are the ones telling the stories
through out the play. They are apart of the main
action and climax at the end of the play. They
create the conflict in the play.
2.2 Ma Rainey- Head of the band and
singer. She is the "boss" of every
one in the play.
2.3 Dussie May and Sylvester- They are
more supporting character and do
not have much action in the play.
Dussie May accompanies Ma Rainey
and talks/flirts with Levee. Sylvester
Sings the intro to the song.
2.4 Irvin and Sturdyvant- They
work at the recording company.
Irvin is Ma Rainey's manager.
3.1 The theme of the play would have to be a
control or power issue.
3.1.1 Irvin can not control when Ma Rainey shows
up to record. He is powerless in this instant.
3.1.2 Ma Rainey can not control what
Sturdyvant wants to record. She has
no power of what he wants, but
usually gets her way.
3.1.3 Levee feels powerless when
Sturdyvant does not like his songs
and only pays him five dollars for
4.1 The language used in the play
helps to understand the setting.
The characters do not use
proper English. They use slang
and most of the time are not
grmatically correct when they
4.1.1 An example from the text would
be when Levee says, "Hell... it ani't
my fault. I ani't done nothing!"
4.2 Story telling is used frequently.
There is a main dialogue between
the characters then it is broken up
with stories being told by the
4.2.1 Cutler tells the
story of how Slow
Drag got his name.
4.2.2 Toledo tells a story
about stew and how it
relates to black and
white and who are the
4.2.3 Toledo tells another story
about the woman he
married. she joined a
church and left him for a
more Godly man. He
relates this to how it was
foolish of him.
5.1 Music is a big part of this
play. They are playing
instuments and singing. Most
of the time the music is
interupted by a characters
5.1.1 The band Starts and stops
rehearsing before Ma arrives several
times. THey are debating which
arrangement to play.
5.1.2 Ma sings her song and it goes
like this, "Way down in Alabamy I
got a friend they call dancing
Sammy Who's crazy about all the
latest dances Black Bottom
stopming, two babies prancing..."
6.1 Ma Rainey has a fur coat. This
spectacle shows that Ma is a
performer and makes more
money than the other band
6.2 The lights in this play go on and off
depending on what part of the
recording studio the characters are
in. This is important because it
shows the audience or reader the
clear change of scenery.
6.3 When Ma asks for the keys to
her car. When they are
handed to her it gives a sense
that there is actually a car
even though it is not on the