Race – By Latrese Calvert

May 21, 2012 in Cindy Bandle Young Critics by Cindy-Bandle-Young-Critics

This performance of Race really made me understand the boundaries and of being any certain race. As an African American girl it made me see that your race can still cause  a huge problem in the world today. Race  is a subject that influences us all. It’s a part of us. It helps us determine who we are and what we want to be–but in this case it’s a huge barrier when you accused of being racist.

Charles Strickland is a wealthy and powerful white businessman. Girls to him are a dime a dozen, but when he has an affair with an African American woman his life turns for the worst: allegations are reported that he raped the woman. Charles turns to the lawyers of a major law firm, but they know that they can’t win the case. Next, Charles turns to two lawyers at a smaller law firm who struggle with whether or not to take his case. One of the lawyers, played by Geoffrey Owens, is a black man who believes Charles is guilty, but his partner at the firm, played by the white actor Marc Grapey, can’t decide if he’s guilty or not. Their assistant Susan make a mistake by taking a check for Charles, so they have to be his lawyers. They struggle with different subjects to fight as their defense–but when they truly decide what they want to bring  forth for the jury. They soon discover that their plans turn for the worst.

The scenery really blew me away. When I first walked into the theater I saw an amazing interpretation of a law office. A small portion was a miniature office that was connected to a bigger part of it. It had a desk with a computer on it. There was a door that was up, center stage. Which was they way the actor walked out and in to that office room. The whole back wall was covered in books. The long table, where the majority of the dialogue had been taken place reminded me of one of those tables where you have your big thanksgiving dinner with your family or have a huge faculty meeting. I love the lighting on stage. For scene two which is late afternoon the glare from outside the office door you can see that the light is dim. Which showed that it was late afternoon.

The costumes were very bland, but it worked very well for the story because the majority of a lawyers were horrible clothes. The costumes also showed how they were constantly in the office because, they didn’t change. However, their costumes also didn’t excite me–I feel that you can be fashionable and work in an office.

The acting was very good. Geoffrey Owen, who plays Henry Brown, was phenomenal. His first line it the play had me laughing hard because it was so unexpected, and the rest of his acting was very good. Patrick Clear, who plays Charles Strickland, played the “oblivious”  roll really well. Whenever the lawyers ashed him a question he acted as if he did’nt know what was going on, or what he did was alright. Especially when both lawyers was questioning  him. Marc Grapey who played Jack did. I noticed that he had a strong southern accent.

Overall, the production was very interesting. It had you thinking throughout the whole play.  Some concepts I just didn’t understand, and I really didn’t know what time and day the play took place in. I also wished they would have explained thoroughly why the character Susan acted the way she acted. She was a very stereotypical black girl, which I didn’t like because all black girls doesn’t act that way. This production of Race really showed that discrimination comes in all forms such as gender, and, financials. Other than those things, I enjoyed watching Race.