Jeff Smith 12:01 p.m., March 29
Rasechaba writes about things as they are in Soweto (the SOuth WEstern TOwnship of Johannesburg). Like Eddy Grant, whose song "Gimme Hope Jo'anna" was banned by the government for its indictment of apartheid, a white official declares Rasechaba's poems inflammatory. In Maishe Maponya's sketchy one-act (set in 1976), Major Whitebeard brings her in for questioning, then detention, then issues a "banning order." When she persists, Whitebeard has his black aid, Jonathan, suspend Rasechaba from a cross and torture her. In the end, as with the death of Steve Biko, founder of the Black Consciousness Movement, Whitebeard and Jonathan ponder the best possible cover story for her demise (they've used all the standard cliches on other murders). In the San Diego Black Ensemble/Blue Trunk/and Theatre Inc. co-production, director Rhys Green makes full use of a limited space. Though he could modulate his voice more, Joe Powers gives Whitebeard a strident paranoia. Chris Bland plays Jonathan too flat and has yet to explore subtexts (whose side is he on?). Craig Noel Award-winner Monique Gaffney gives Rasechaba fierce commitment and turns a relatively slender role into a modern Antigone.
Worth a try.
When: Ongoing until Sunday, June 28, 2009
- Sundays, 2pm
- Thursdays, 8pm
- Fridays, 8pm
- Saturdays, 8pm