Journey Into Serial Black Face
You step in from the overcast night into an apartment with a single bed, a well-used kitchen, and Otis Redding jamming on the radio. The setting ignites the overwhelming desire to just curl on top the orange and lime striped couch, bowl of captain crunch in hand, to watch Scooby Doo before mom wakes up. The mirth of watching the gang unmask the villain is juxtaposed with the danger suspended just out of view; a mobile shackled overhead with tricycles, playground equipment, and teddy bears.
You scan the sides and become aware of the hundreds of missing child posters sprawled across the walls. You notice the haze-filled room giving cover to dark corners where a figure may be hiding. You begin to feel uneasy. The play begins, the story unfurls. You begin to feel your skin crawl. You listen what is said. You begin getting angry. You hear what is unsaid. You are disgusted. You watch what is done onstage. Your heart breaks and break and breaks until the desperation engulfing the characters spills into your lap and on your clothes, soaking and leaving you outraged.
Director Freddie Ashley helps tell Janine Nabers' electrifying story, set during the Atlanta Child Murders of the late 1970's. He hopes to "...offer some small measure of healing for the city and some renewed conversation about the victims, all of whom deserve to be remembered." If you see one show this month, make it this one. It is not an easy story to share, but one that is so desperately needed in our community.