MPAACT welcomes your reactions to our current show, Ten Square, a co-production with Pegasus Players. Please leave your thoughts, impressions, and questions below. What moment stood out to you? What did the play leave you thinking about? We would be honored if you'd share your thoughts with us.
February 5, 2009
DOPPEL YOUR GANGER, DOPPEL YOUR FUN
The cast of Stage Black features Diamond’s stand-in.
As a young, black playwright striving to produce relevant material, Lydia Diamond’s got some bones to pick with her audience. Black viewers crave nothing more incendiary from her than woe-begotten tales of buppie strife. And white folks? They just want sagas of sexual abuse. Diamond uses meta means to settle her score, writing herself (or an indistinguishable doppelganger) straight into her script, and hashing things out with characters as she creates them. At times, the antsy audience members she’s appeasing feel more than a bit like straw men (one beguiled white lady hints aloud that black writers just “need to get over that whole slave thing.” Really?). Diamond warns us not to label her self-aware tale “Pirandello-esque.” As her pomo conceit assumes a ludicrousness that threatens to overtake the broken-home story, David Ives gone frantic springs more readily to mind.
Still, Diamond’s got a whip-smart feel for character, and, with MPAACT, a cast that can’t be beat. Diamond’s fear of the archetypical tends to serve her well. Her array of total weirdos, from sleazeball, Boogie Nights Grandpa to sissified, but hetero nerd Sasha, reaches legitimately uncharted waters. Watch in particular for LaNisa Frederick’s Monica: The Writer intends to forge her protagonist as a hearty woman of uncommon get-up-and-go. She instead births a 23-year-old slacker with a warm heart, and a stunted need for Mom. In Frederick’s hands, Monica’s both hopelessly naïve and boisterously authoritative, a joy to watch when she commands center stage, and even better when she regards her family with eye-rolling, adolescent abandon from the sidelines.