Bright Swords

rick creese · Ages 12+ · world premiere · one person show · United States of America

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Review by KAREN ZUMSTEG

June 18, 2015 certified reviewer

My overall impression

Highly recommend this interesting and inspiring story about Ira Aldridge, born a free man in New York City in 1807, and later to become the first black actor to portray Othello on the London stage. Brilliantly penned by Rick Creese and deftly performed by Ryan Vincent Anderson, to call this show “one-person” is a misnomer. Yes, Anderson is the only actor credited in the program, but the characters he embodies include not just the impassioned Aldridge as narrator and in his many stage roles, but family, friends, mentors, his English bride, critics, and a brief but disturbing turn as a Southern slave owner who attempts to buy Aldridge early on. Anderson and director Jeffrey Wienckowski have discovered imaginative ways to physicalize not only people, but locations and story segues. Fringe spaces are not known for being large, but this “one-person” show is much bigger than its square footage, on multiple levels.

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