“White” by James Ijames: a response to a production of this play at Shotgun Players in Berkeley California.

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So I saw this show last night. Amazing work by the cast:  Adam Donovan (Gus), Santoya Fields (Diana/Vanessa, Luisa Frasconi), Jed Parsario (Tanner).

Incredible work by the design team:  Nina Ball (Set), Erin Gilley (Projections), Cliff Caruthers, Ulises Alacla.

Piercingly resonant writing by James, Ijames.

Lovely direction by M. Graham Smith.

Compelling, smart, funny, quick, rich in complex and difficult ideas, such as Identity, Truth, Art, Race. I was held the entire time, which is a rarity in the theater, for me, a long-time theater artist and theater goer.  My kudos and deep appreciation to all who worked on this show.  Kept me awake a long long time last night.

Patrick Dooley, artistic director of  Shotgun hosted a Q and A afterwards, which is standard at that theater (and something I totally support to enrich the experience and create a larger, community conversation).    But herein lies a troubling “reality.”  oh oh oh, so hard, so hard, so hard…to talk about any of these themes.  It’s hard enough to share our thoughts about Identity, Truth and Art, as we reveal so much and become so publicly vulnerable.  But to broach the subject of race?  We try…I guess...but everyone is polite, everyone is cautious, downright scared?  Even the subject of talking about talking about…becomes repetitive, even cliche?  We are trapped these days…have we trapped our own spirits somehow?

 

 

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