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Carolina Story: Virtual Museum of University History

Paul Green

Paul Green (1894-1981)

Paul Green was another important literary figure to emerge from Koch’s playwriting classes. Green won the 1927 Pulitzer Prize for his Broadway play In Abraham’s Bosom, a work written in black dialect that addresses miscegenation, lynching, and racism. Relying on Koch’s notion of a “people’s theater,” Green created the symphonic drama—a pageant performed in actual historical settings with music, dance, and lavish costumes. Green wrote The Lost Colony (1937) about a doomed English settlement on the North Carolina coast, along with sixteen more symphonic dramas. Green taught philosophy and writing at Chapel Hill, where his example inspired the next generation of southern writers. His protests against the death penalty and segregation also made him an influential figure in southern politics.