Dangerous Territory

By Clare Coss
Running Time: One Hour
Requirements: A table and chair
Presented at Colleges and Universities, Conferences and Conventions, Community Centers and Schools


Mary White Ovington was not a dutiful daughter. She rebelled against the expectations of her family and became the first white woman in 20th century America to dedicate her life to racial justice.

DANGEROUS TERRITORY dramatizes Ovington’ s journey beyond the narrow confines of her comfortable New York home. We meet a cast of dynamic characters whose virtues and contradictions propel her along the way: from the careless white boys at the Greenpoint Settlement to the adversarial African-American leaders, Booker T. Washington and W.E.B. DuBois.

Miss Ovington and Dr. DuBois forged a vigorous and spirited friendship. Their alliance led to the founding of the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP).

The play takes place on the afternoon of August 20, 1920 in the NAACP national office, New York City.


  • Unitarian Universalist Congregation of the South Fork, Bridgehampton, LI, NY  –  in celebration of Women’s History Month 2013
  • Paradigm Shift: New York City’s Feminist Community
    The Tank Theatre, West 48th Street, NYC
  • National Association for the Advancement of Colored People, Eastern Long Island Branch
  • Webster University, St. Louis, MO
  • University of Wisconsin, Superior, WI
  • New York State NOW Convention, Albany, NY
Photo By Amy Mitten amittensphoto@gmail.com
In this photo: Jamia Wilson, Women’s Media Center, Post Play Discussion Moderator; Lucius Ware, NAACP Eastern Long Island Branch President; Clare Coss; H Scottie Coads, NAACP Nassau Branch Civic Engagement Manager; Meredith Villano, director Paradigm Shift