"The Whites,' written and directee by William Electric Black
Being condemned to an underclass because of one's dark skin is all-too familiar to African-Americans. William Electric Black's newest play, "The Whites," aims to illuminate the feelings that accompany this experience for the benefit of all the races. It's done with a unique concept of race reversal. He offers us a family drama in which the situation and characters are culturally Black but the cast is White. We watch the Caucasian family of Harris and Rasheeda White contend with gun violence, school segregation and the aftermath of prison. For this family and their surrounding community, the everyday experiences of economic, political and social injustice are imposed by African-Americans.
Stylistically, the play is something like an "Our Town" in which a cast of white characters has been placed into a modern day Black story line. Like "Our Town," it is played with very little scenery or props. The minimalism is deliberate: the people and their social position are to be our focus. Scenes and their transitions are underscored by live acoustic bass played by Marc Schmied, imparting a jazzical feel. The cast of nine is directed by the author.
Venue: Theater for the New City
155 First Ave.
What do you think?
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