Mar 05

Driving Mr. Daisy: “The White Card”

Karen Pittman and Daniel Gerroll in The White Card. Photo: Gretjen Helene Photography; Charlotte manages Charles’ microaggressions.

Presented by ArtsEmerson with the American Repertory Theatre
By Claudia Rankin
Directed by Diane Paulus
Dramaturgy by P. Carl

Feb. 24 – April 1, 2018
Emerson Paramount Center
Robert J. Orchard Stage
Boston, MA
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Reviews by Kitty Drexel and Noelani Kamelamela

(Boston, MA) The White Card is a conversation starter for those unused to discussing race at length. It’s for those who think we live in a post-racial society, the kind of person who resents the dialogue because there are “bigger problems” to fix. Other attributes include denying racism because they have imaginary Black friends, thinking “all lives matter,” and feeling threatened when any indication of their own culpability within society’s systemic racism. Those who have regular discussions on race, inequalities and the struggles for justice will have their work affirmed. Continue reading

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Jan 30

“In the Eruptive Mode”: A Woman Can’t Live on Poetry

Presented by ArtsEmerson
Written and directed by Sulayman Al-Bassam
Sulayman Al-Bassam Theatre (SABAB Theatre)

Emerson Paramount Center
Boston, MA
Jan 24-28, 2018
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Review by Polly Goss

(Boston, MA) In the Eruptive Mode is a quasi-feminist collection of monologues that tells a disjointed tale of suffering, hopes and personal struggle, set against the backdrop of the Arab Spring. The six monologues span a range of characters from a pragmatic prostitute unwillingly caught in a revolution, to a surreal American business woman pitching the next heir to an Arab throne to foreign investors. Hala Omran and Catherine Gowl give energetic and passionate performances that add vitality to Al-Bassam’s often intangible writing. In the Eruptive Mode, as the title suggests, is not a fully formed play. The script spills out unconstrained and oftentimes unintelligible and whilst there are bursts of poetry throughout, the piece overall felt flimsy and confusing. Continue reading

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Nov 03

Art within Cultural Context: “Kiss”

Kiss presented by ArtsEmerson
Written by Guillermo Calderón
Directed by David Dower

October 26 – November 19, 2017
Emerson Paramount Center՚s Jackie Liebergott Black Box Theatre
Washington Street
Boston, Massachusetts
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Review by Holly Goss

(Boston, MA) Kiss is a play within a play that tells the story of a zealous young theatre group՚s gross misinterpretation of a Syrian play called Kiss. These naive and fresh-faced actors, come up against a nasty dose of realism when they learn what Kiss really means. However the play falls apart when the cast try to diligently apply their new knowledge, to re-perform this seemingly simple love story and reveal the true horror of the war lurking underneath. This second performance falls flat and fails to deliver the big twist the audience anticipate. Kiss tackles a breadth of themes, the war in Syria, the importance of cultural context, the purpose of art. However, the writing is ultimately overly ambitious and is unable to get to the heart of these important questions. Continue reading

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