Wednesday, January 14, 2009

If I could see only one show in NYC right now...

It would be THE SHIPMENT by Young Jean Lee.

Partly because its Young Jean Lee, who is just a brilliant and young playwright. But also partly because it deals with racial issues that we all want to pretend don't exist. I think we're going to find that even though we finally have elected our first black president, that not everyone is okay with that.

Okay, maybe we already know that. But I think we're going to see more actions from people that not everyone is okay with that.

We're definitely going to see more plays about race. In fact, if there isn't a production of Othello happening in your neighborhood this year, I'd be surprised (there are three slotted for the Seattle region, fyi).

Anyway, The Shipment just had a glowing review in the NY Times which called it "subversive" and "seriously funny" as well as "provocative but never polemic".

Here's the description from the press release:

Known for her provocatively satiric performance works, writer/director Young Jean Lee presents the New York premiere of THE SHIPMENT. For this piece, Lee gave herself the most uncomfortable challenge she could imagine: to make—as a Korean-American—a Black American identity politics work. In collaboration with an all-black cast, Lee takes the audience on an awkward and volatile roller-coaster ride through the absurdities and atrocities that arise when trying to discuss the black experience in America. Ludicrous, honest, and devoid of truisms, THE SHIPMENT dares to ask embarrassing questions and to seek solutions to impossible problems.

THE SHIPMENT is also made possible in part by a grant from the Ford Foundation and the Association of Performing Arts Presenters Ensemble Theatre Collaborations Grant Program.

For more info about her and her company, go here.

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