|In Response – Theatre Review|
|A review by Rachel Flanagan.
The Saturday Nighters. All photos by Nathaniel Bellamy
Towne Street Theatre, L.A.’s premiere African American theatre company, presents In Response, a multi-author “response” to systemic racism in American History. In Response is a multi-media vignette filled with spoken word, poetry, short plays, songs and video, which each author wrote, as their response toward racism throughout America from as far back as the 1800’s to present day. As an African American theatre company, Towne Street wanted to respond to the recent epidemic of police shootings and violence against unarmed black men and women. Each piece touches on such prominent topics as slavery, interracial relationships, lynching, Rodney King, Black Lives Matter, Martin Luther King, Jr., public perceptions of race, and an optimistic hope for the future of race in America.
In Concern of National Interest
In Response, is filled with emotions with performances that are not only powerful but also inspired by true-life events. Some of the highlights include The Saturday Nighters; a short play about an anti-lynching group of writers in the 1930’s which included Georgia Douglas Johnson, Zora Neale Hurston, Oswald Villard and Langston Hughes. Two Sandra’s explores how two women of different races can be so similar and treated so differently. The Mountaintop, which speaks upon Martin Luther King, Jr.’s famous last speech. No Justice, touching upon both what happened to Rodney King and interracial relationships. Scattered throughout the performances are some light-hearted moments and laughter with the musical disco number 70’s Time Trippin’ where the party does not stop until the cops show up – or does it? Tomatoes-Tomahtoes shares the laughs with 2016 new-year resolutions amongst a group of friends that touch upon public perceptions of race.
The cast of the production produce such impeccable performances that the audience can feel the powerful emotion behind each enactment of such poignant issues and moments in racism. A few of the performers were also the writers behind some of the pieces making the emotion all the more personal. This sophomore run of In Response coincides with the 48 th Anniversary of the Assassination of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and the 24 th Anniversary of the Los Angeles Riots, which provided the inspiration for the creation of the Towne Street Theatre to create a positive social impact. A special Art Exhibit, curated by local Artist Connie Martin, will accompany the performance in the Stella Adler/LA Art Gallery. There will be talkbacks and a call for audience responses during the run of the show. No matter what your race, In Response, speaks to everyone with a powerful voice and emotional hope for a future filled with less hate.
The Stella Adler Theatre located at the corner of Hollywood Blvd. and Highland Ave. at 6773 Hollywood Boulevard Los Angeles, CA 90028.
|Posted By Rachel Flanagan on April 13, 2016|
See the full review on Discover Hollywood by clicking Here