Liberal elite New Haven theater-goers beware: If you attend the new play inspired by the landmark Ricci v. DeStefano case, you won’t get to feel superior to the working-class white people who convinced the U.S. Supreme Court to change the rules for affirmative action.
Alice Childress’ best-known play, Trouble in Mind, — a hard-hitting study of racism in American theater, being put on by the Yale School of Drama at the University Theater from Feb. 2 to Feb. 8 — debuted in 1955. The play’s critical success made Childress the first African American woman to win an Obie as a playwright. Originally produced Off Broadway in Greenwich Village, the play was Broadway bound, until Childress became dissatisfied about changes she was asked to make in her play. The play remains as Childress originally wrote it, and also remains woefully underproduced. Aneesha Kudtarkar, a third-year director in the Yale School of Drama, sees irony in the way the play’s history relates to its subject matter.
When you hear the term “Southern Gothic,” what do you think of? Racism, incest, misogyny, patriarchy, madness, suicide, a crumbling old house in which, at some level of symbolism, the white supremacist evils of the Confederacy eat away at the foundations of civilized society? Boo Killebrew’s Miller, Mississippi has it all, served up with a persistent backdrop of newscasts — from 1960 to 1994 — to help us keep track.
We’re maybe a third of the way into Rasheeda Speaking, and Ileen is treating Jaclyn badly. She’s sniping and casually cruel, and going a little nuts, and for much of the time so far, it has worked on Jaclyn, who at first doesn’t understand what exactly is going on.
Then there is a moment where she gets it. She sees the forces aligned against her. They threaten her livelihood. They threaten her dignity. And in retaliation, in a moment when Ileen isn’t looking, Jaclyn seizes the chance to open the drawers of Ileen’s desk and rearrange everything in them, so Ileen, who prizes order, can’t find anything.
From its art galleries to its warren of studio spaces to its live music and theater venue at Lyric Hall, “Westville is seen as an arts center in New Haven,” said Elizabeth Antle-O’Donnell. An initiative she’s helping to build is making sure it stays that way, and grows.
It’s five or six years after a devastating civil war in San Isidro, a fictional town in an unnamed Latin American country. In Seven Spots on the Sun, playwright Martín Zimmerman tells the epic story of a people trying to forge a collective memory of a highly fraught past.
The Arts Council of Greater New Haven’s 38th annual awards ceremony, held Friday during a luncheon at the New Haven Lawn Club, began with a protest. As patrons were seating themselves in the Lawn Club’s expansive ballroom, a troop of young women marched in file toward the stage, chanting and holding aloft signs about stopping domestic and sexual violence, about women’s suffrage, about curing breast cancer.
The women were dancers from Premier Dance Company, headed by Hanan Hameen, one of the afternoon’s award recipients. They took the stage to a blast of music from the speakers, moving from funk to pop to hip hop, as patrons finished sitting down — a fitting nod to the theme of the arts awards this year, of phenomenal women.