"Hello America"

ensemble theatre · cbg arts / inglewood theater group · Ages 14+ · world premiere · United States of America

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Review by MORNA MURPHY MARTELL

June 19, 2019 not born yesterday original article
tagged as: powerful · honest · inspiring

What I liked

This play demonstrates the political power in live theater. The seven young actors start with anger and the sadly familiar list of injustices suffered under the iron fist of racism. Then, one by one, they reveal the hurt that permeates their lives and the bewilderment at why this continues to happen. Introspection follows, with each of them remembering their childhoods and the small incidences and insults that forced them to hide their vulnerability even from themselves. When they robustly celebrate their young manhood, the sexual and physical challenges they overcome gives them an illusion of invincibility. Then, with some, the longing for emotional connection moves them to accept and show love. Others, even when the fear of being hurt keeps them apart, find pride in self-awareness. Writer and director Brandon Rainey, through the talent of these seven extraordinary individuals, makes a powerful statement that deserves to be heard across America.

What I didn't like

Perhaps adding some visuals, or newsreel type footage, might add emphasis to the reality of the play.

My overall impression

Seven dynamic young men relate what it means to be black in America and be acknowledged as a man.

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