Set in 1950s Washington, D.C. this Noir tale spotlights a young Korean War vet who sets out to solve a murder and becomes entangled in a web of family history. Along the way, he is unsettled by another death—a young Jewish woman whose last words haunt him and his investigation.

Edward P. Jones evokes a neighborhood of vivid characters, telling a story about the strength of family and the choices that shape our lives.

The story was published in full by The New Yorker in 2003. Read the full story here.


It takes a community of artists to stage a production set in 1950's Washington D.C.!

From discussions between Director and Word for Word Charter Member Stephanie Hunt and Set Designer Sean Riley, you’ll see curated material that inspired the design team’s vision for the Word for Word world of All Aunt Hagar’s Children.

All Aunt Hagar’s Children is above all a neighborhood story. The very real neighborhood in D.C. near the cross streets of 6th and M Streets NW, where the story takes place, is our first visual inspiration: the churches, the stone or brick row houses, Dunbar High School, the corner grocery store, and Howard University farther uptown. Windows also figure prominently in the story – actual windows and window as metaphor.

Additional inspiration: the paintings of Allan Rohan Crite, Ben Shahn, and Roy DeCarava’s photographic portraits. The first three photographs in the series above are from the private collection of Nadine Mozon, Dramaturg, All Aunt Hagar's Children .