This note accompanies the follow episode(s):
The Writer’s Almanac for March 17, 2017: Field Poem

Mar. 17, 2017: birthday: Paul Green

It’s the birthday of playwright Paul (Eliot) Green, born near Lillington, North Carolina (1894). Green grew up on a farm, where he worked in the fields alongside black laborers, whose stories inspired many of his dramas. He began writing one-act plays while he was a student at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. The No ’Count Boy (1924) won the Belasco Cup in New York City and established Green’s place as an important playwright outside of the South. His Broadway play In Abraham’s Bosom (1926) won the Pulitzer Prize for drama. Despite his success in New York, he disliked what he labeled the commercial theater of the city, choosing instead to produce something he called “symphonic dramas” — pieces combing drama with dance, music, poetry, and folklore, and intended for the outdoors. (Green was a self-taught violinist who composed all the music for his pieces.) In the 1930s, Paul Green did a stint in Hollywood, where he wrote films for Clark Gable, Greer Garson, and Bette Davis, among others. Green wrote what Bette Davis considered to be her favorite line: “I’d like to kiss you, but I just washed my hair.”