Imagine a US without Racism is a world premiere and plays at the Mixed Blood Theater until May 1. This is the last production of the season from the Mixed Blood Theatre.
imagine a us without racism responds to a series of 100 interviews with strangers across the United States. Since mid-2021, Seema Sueko has posed the prompt “Imagine a United States without racism” to people of all ages, races, abilities, religions, ethnicities, gender identities, sexual orientations, political beliefs, vocations and locations. of origin. The resulting themes and stories have become a play that addresses the (im)possible question of a truly just nation – can we make one? What would it take? What would we gain and what should we give up?
Seven individuals find themselves in a strange remedial class with an inexorable teacher anxious to provoke their imagination. Comical and dark, wild and hopeful, the class encounters something unexpected. Drawn from interviews with real people across the United States, this game with an ulterior motive turns the impossible into the plausible.
imagine a us without racism will be the last production produced by Jack Reuler in his capacity as artistic director of Mixed Blood, the theater he founded in 1976.
The cast includes: Jayce Hanson (BIRCH), Faye Price* (DEE), Warren C. Bowles* (HARRISON), Kurt Kwan* (KENJI), Jiavani (KHADIJA), Terry Lynn Carlson* (LAWRENCE), Michelle Barber* (SALLY), Lisa Suarez (YUNIA) *Members of the Actors’ Equity Association
The creative team: Jack Reuler, producer, Seema Sueko, playwright/director, Jay Claire, production manager, Colleen Lacy, stage manager*Liz Engleman, playwright, Zahra Jangbar, costume designer, Karin Olson, lighting designer, Kim Ford, production designer, Joe Stanley, production designer, Scott Edwards, sound designer, Victor Zupanc, composer, Julia Reisinger, technical director, Jeremy Ellarby, Chief Electrician, Caitlin Arndt, Covid Safety Officer, *members of the Actors’ Equity Association
This piece lasted only 80 minutes without intermission. It was a solid 80 minutes of relatable characters, whether you identified with them or remembered someone you knew, or they just fit a certain societal stereotype. All the actors did a great job playing the different characters. The show begins in what appears to be a classroom that has also turned into a home, office, etc. The set, staging and effects worked well in the intimate space.
At first the teacher came out and then all the actors were seated in the front row and as viewers I don’t think any of us realized that until the show started and then we got to explore stories and identities and their relationships and how their stories relate to each other.
Hence the title, the script had comedic moments and was topical but it also touched on many topics such as politics, mandates, vaccines, racism, identity, etc. There were times when it was hard to hear certain words and phrases but at the same time this script and this show could spark a conversation and as a society to move forward we need to hear different perspectives and experiences and having difficult conversations and I think anyone who sees this show will have it.
I would recommend seeing this show while you can. It’s a show that I feel like everyone should see. I hope more theaters across the country will perform this show, because it’s what we need right now.
For more information and tickets, click here
Artwork by Miku