This remarkable script defies, embraces, and juggles stereotypes and points of view in a way that honors the complexity of today’s race relations. It takes it’s title from Countee Cullen's poem, “The Incident," describing a young boy’s lengthy trip to Baltimore, where all he remembers is being called a racial epithet. This show’s "incident” is a white girl posting a “humorous” black-face caricature on a black girl’s dorm door. How do the students/resident assistant/dean react? Be sure to read the Director’s Note and the Dramaturg’s Note, which illuminate and provide more interesting background.
The whole cast did an admirable job, but I was most impressed with Christi Thiboedeau as “Fiona,” the source of the offensive/humorous picture, and Imani Bonner as “Shelby," the confused, frustrated Resident Assistant caught in the middle, struggling with the challenge of making something better out of the “mess” of history. There are no easy answers offered, but the stage is set for dialogue, both literally and figuratively.
The high tech Studio 60 black-box stage offers creative lighting and projection capabilities that enhance and move the story. We attended most of the “talk-before” with Director Joni Starr, who told us the projections came with the script as they are integral to the show (media designer Rainie Jiang.) The unsettling drumbeat music added mood and tension (Chelle Peterson, sound design). The show is somewhat less than 90 minutes, with no intermission.
Studio 60 is in the basement of MSU’s Auditorium Building on the corner of Farm Lane and Auditorium Road. Tickets are available from the Wharton Center Box Office; 1.800.WHARTON; www.whartoncenter.com. And you can get tickets on the Farm Lane lobby box office and walk downstairs to just beyond the Arena stage in the basement.
General Admission $15. Faculty & Seniors $13. Students $10
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 at 7:30pm
Wednesday, October 7, 2015 at 7:30pm
**Thursday, October 8, 2015 at 7:30pm
Friday, October 9, 2015 at 8:00pm
Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 2:00pm
Saturday, October 10, 2015 at 8:00pm
Sunday, October 11, 2015 at 2:00pm
** Post-Show Discussion on Thursday, October 8, 2015 (Following the Performance)