Theatre News - Criticism: May 2007 Archives


In this neck of the woods, Madison Repertory Theatre is currently staging Samm-Art Williams' "Home," about a rural African-American man in tiny Cross Roads, North Carolina. Much of what happens in "Home" is outside my own personal experience: I'm white, do not practice a religion and live in the North, whereas Cephus, the show's protagonist, is black, a man of deep faith and lives in the South. I'm also of a different generation than Cephus. It's a simplistic point, but part of the reason theater (or any art form) is worthwhile is to give us a taste of lives other than our own. Yet it's also refreshing to see's one's own experiences on stage now and again--something I'm not sure local audience members of color get enough of.


The audience at "Home" on a recent Sunday was more diverse than I usually see at Madison Rep, both in terms of age and ethnicity. The crowd felt a little more alive, thanks to a large contingent of teens. "Home" is being presented as part of the "African-American Artist Series," which I have mixed feelings about. On the one hand, it's obviously worthy to have a regular, ongoing commitment to working with playwrights, actors and directors of color. Yet on the other hand, why must this be set aside in a special series? Shouldn't this be happening more frequently, as a matter of course?


My review of this show appears later this week in Isthmus, Madison's alt weekly. I'll come back later and add a link.


In the meantime, here's some coverage of the play from Capital City Hues, a local multicultural paper (including an interview with actor Patrick Sims, who is also a professor at the University of Wisconsin).


UPDATE:Â Here's my review of "Home" from the May 4 edition of Isthmus.

May 1, 2007 10:57 AM |
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