Talking about the play

We have our first of many post-show discussions coming up after Sunday’s show, and we’re kicking it off with a group that I’m really looking forward to talking to – joining us for Sunday’s performance is a group of students from Michigan State (which means they’ll probably be checking NCAA tournament scores on their phones during intermission) who are in a program called MRULE – Multi-Racial Unity Living Experience. According to their website, the group encourages students to “contribute to positive race relations” by providing a community and forum for discussion:

Through open and frank discussions on controversial issues, informative presentations, interactive exercises and a variety of experiences that encourage the development of genuine friendships, students create and cultivate the experience of multiracial unity.

This makes us, I suppose, an “informative presentation,” but I’m looking forward to being informed by the students.

Blue Surge is a story about class, wealth and identity – in my mind, it’s about the way we see ourselves in the context of our own background, and the way that sense of identity can limit or destroy us if we allow it to. It’s not a play about race (it takes place in a small midwesten city, and all five actors in our production, myself included, are white), because the issues it digs into are not specific to any particular skin color or heritage.

That being said, I think it’s naive to think that class and race are unrelated – especially in America, with our long national history of intertwined -isms and the cultural identity issues that come with that history. So more than anything else, I’m excited to listen to the students from MSU tell me what this play is about – and I’m guessing that many will see it in a different light than I do.

This Sunday’s show is already sold out, but we’ll have discussions after all of the Sunday matinees through the run except the final performance on May 3rd. I’m excited about this week’s discussion now, but each week will bring a new group of people with a new way of thinking about the ideas Rebecca Gilman has given us to kick around. Join us if you can – the matinees begin at 3pm, and the discussion starts at about 5pm after the show ends (and yes, feel free to join us for the discussion even if you’re not seeing the play that day). There’s a link to buy tickets on your right …

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One Response

  1. The style of writing is quite familiar to me. Have you written guest posts for other bloggers?

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