We get to know and care about real characters in conflict as the past fights its way into the present. There's a "real story," not just a historical soap box. References to Titus Andronicus and Romeo and Juliet set us up for the themes of revenge, love, and tragedy. ("Sweet mercy is nobility's true badge." Titus Andronicus.) What are our ethical responsibilities in the face of such conflicts?
Two worlds collide and overlap: Rwanda during the genocide in 1994 and a military wedding in the U.S. in 2006. A wonderful, flexible, 360° round set (Milly Parker) in MSU's Arena theatre included overhead arcs with mosquito netting that moved in and out like a veil between two worlds and times. Wall hangings on the four posts were easily flipped to switch the scene. Teriah Fleming set a haunting African mood with her drumming and evocative songs.
In a talkback with director Tony Caselli (of Williamston Theatre) and the author, Melody Cooper, we learned that she has workshopped and revised this script over several years and visited Rwanda to broaden her understanding of the issues. She was pleased to have her script selected in MSU's International Playwriting Competition, from 289 scripts from 20 countries. This is the first time it has been fully staged.
This is a powerful 90 minutes of theatre, no intermission. It continues through this weekend. Wed/Thu 7:30 pm; Fri 8 pm; Sat 2 & 8 pm; Sun 2 pm. The Arena is in the basement of MSU's Auditorium Building on the corner of Farm Lane and Auditorium. Go to the box office on the main floor, Farm Lane entrance, and then downstairs.