WAMU 88.5 : News

Play Takes On Race, Starting With Its Title

Play associated audio
The cast. Top row, left to right: David Berkenbilt as "Yaveni," Lolita-Marie as "Mattie," DeJeanette Horn as "Rawl." Bottom Row: Aeshia Brown as "Matoka," Kecia Campbell as "Aunt Cora," and Marissa Moody as "Joyce."
Port City Playhouse
The cast. Top row, left to right: David Berkenbilt as "Yaveni," Lolita-Marie as "Mattie," DeJeanette Horn as "Rawl." Bottom Row: Aeshia Brown as "Matoka," Kecia Campbell as "Aunt Cora," and Marissa Moody as "Joyce."

People in the theater community sometimes call it "The No Play," so they don't have to say the title. But actors at the Port City Playhouse say it's important to the integrity of the show that audience members know what they are getting into.

"I say the title is 'No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs.' Startled reaction," says actor David Berkenbilt. "It's written by an African-American playwright, based on signs that he saw as a kid," he says.

Yes, the title is shocking, says director Frank Pasqualino. That's the point.

"It's a heavy show when you think about all the themes that are behind it: prejudice, racism," he says. "We hit a lot of those things, and we hit them right square in the face with that title, you know?"

The drama captures the raw brutality of discrimination in the Deep South, a topic Pasqualino says is perfectly timed for Black History Month.

Lolita-Marie Clayton, a black woman, plays the leading lady. She knows the title is provocative, but she doesn't want it to distract from the performance.

"The heart of the play has to do with family dynamics and surviving tragedy and the willingness to sacrifice -- common topics, no matter what sex, gender, race, nationality, whatever."

The play opens at The Lab at Convergence on Friday night.

WAMU 88.5

The Role Of Music In Presidential Campaigns

Presidential candidates today frequently use popular pieces of music as campaign "theme songs" often without approval from the musicians themselves. But using music on the campaign trail is not a modern phenomenon: it goes back to our earliest presidential elections.

NPR

From Dock To Dish: A New Model Connects Chefs To Local Fishermen

Prominent chefs are signing up for restaurant-supported fisheries: They commit to buying fresh-caught seafood, whatever the species, from local small fishermen. A pilot program launched in California.

NPR

Here's The 62-Word Pledge Republicans Want Donald Trump To Sign

They want Trump to say he will support the eventual Republican nominee, something he wouldn't promise during the first debate.
NPR

Yahoo CEO To Take Limited Leave After Giving Birth To Twins

NPR's Rachel Martin talks with Slate DoubleX Gabfest's Hanna Rosin about Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's decision to take just two weeks worth of parental leave after having twins in December.

Leave a Comment

Help keep the conversation civil. Please refer to our Terms of Use and Code of Conduct before posting your comments.