The play, written by Jackie Sibblies Drury, won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama, and examines family dynamics and the insidious impact of racism.
Directed by Billicia Charnelle Hines, the play begins with the planning for a “perfect” birthday party, which is challenged by family drama.
In the first act, a middle-class Black family prepares a birthday party for the family matriarch, with different relatives arriving and adding to the storyline.
When the second act begins, the Black actors on stage present the same images and actions as the first act, while two white people in the audience discuss what race they would want to be if they were not white. Two more white people are drawn into the conversation, which becomes argumentative, even as the play continues as a backdrop.
When they reach the point where the scene stopped before, new actions occur for the Black characters, while the white people continue to talk, and the food and the dancing occurring at the onstage party become increasingly unusual, until the white actors disappear.
In the third act, the white characters appear, one by one, dressed as the earlier Black characters, with ad-libs, which add to the Black family’s misfortune.
Finally, the young Black actress, at her breaking point, confronts the audience, pleading with them to let Black actors tell their stories on their own terms, and for white people to listen with an open mind, without preconceptions.
The play brings the United States’ long-standing racial tensions to the forefront by overlapping different viewpoints of reality on the stage.
It will leave audiences with questions and conversation-starters, and confront privilege and power, as well as frustration and rage, as the play travels from familiar stereotype to chaos and discord.
The show runs 8 p.m. Feb. 25 and 26, and March 4 and 5; 7 p.m. March 3, and 2 p.m. Feb. 26 and March 2 and 5 at the Hilberry Theater, 4743 Cass Ave. in Detroit.
COVID-19 protocols require proof of vaccination for admittance, and completion of a screening survey. In addition, audience members must wear a mask.
For tickets, call 313-577-2972 or click here.
INSPIRE THEATRE PRESENTS NEIL SIMON’S ‘RUMORS’
Inspire Theatre presents Neil Simon’s “Rumors” through Jan. 30 at the Westland Center for the Arts, 33455 Warren Road, Westland.
The farce, set in an upscale Palisades home north of New York City, features a dinner party gone wrong, where the staff and the hostess are missing, and the host, the deputy mayor, is bleeding from a superficial bullet wound to the head.
When the couples try to conceal events from local law enforcement and the media, the complications increase, and the events snowball.
The show runs 7:30 p.m. Jan. 14, 15, 21, 22, 28 and 29, and 2 p.m. Jan. 16, 23 and 30 at the theater.
Tickets are $17, and are available at inspiretheatre.tickleap.com.
All attendees are required to be fully vaccinated and wear a mask.
For more information, call 734-751-7057 or click here.
INSPIRE THEATRE AUDITIONS FOR ‘SEE HOW THEY RUN’
Inspire Theatre will hold auditions for the comedic farce, “See How They Run” from 6 to 9 p.m. Jan. 24 at the theater, at the Westland Center for the Arts, 33455 Warren Road, Westland.
Set in the English countryside, the play combines mistaken identities, mayhem and mischief, and leaves its audience laughing.
The play has roles for three women and six men: A Cockney maid, a gossipy spinster and the minister’s wife, who is a former actress; and the local minister, an actor, an intruder, who is escaped prisoner-of-war, a bishop, a visiting cleric and the local constable.
Auditions will consist of cold readings from the script. Masks must be worn, and those auditioning must have proof of vaccination.
For more information, click here.