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2019-2020 BROADWAY PRODUCTIONS

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  • Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203176818

    I did not know that. I even got to see Mr. Robert Schenkkan speak in a panel at a conference while I was in New York almost two weeks ago.

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    ayanami
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    #1203176898

    I don’t live in New York City, so I can’t give my own thoughts on it at the moment. If a production is ever done at my regional theater, I’ll check it out and see if it’s good or not.

    Oh.. That’s okay. Please don’t watch it. Here are my thoughts: I understand the play if examined as a think piece and acknowledgement of the limited agency some enslaved people were able to exert pre-Civil War. However, I did some research on the playwright (Harris) after seeing it..

    Slave Play and almost all of Harris’s work (e.g. Daddy) are targeted towards a white liberal audience. Moreover, a common theme across all his plays, including Slave Play, is a strong desire and lust for white men. We know a white man complex gives Harris a boner..

    Slave Play is a reflection of Harris’ deep desire to be close to whiteness but crying about blackness not being taken into consideration.. Seeing black people subjecting themselves to all manner of trauma in order to seek validation from their white peers.. It’s too much. Unlike Harris, I have no desire to seek validation from white people, so I couldn’t relate at all.

    Slave Play was absolutely engineered to be controversial and provocative to the point of distastefulness. There are more effective ways of portraying interracial lust, race relations, racial dynamics than what was portrayed in Slave Play. The shock value of his master-slave scenarios is.. just for publicity. Imagine disrespecting your enslaved ancestors like that.. Yikes.

    Watch Harris win a Pulitzer and Tony Award from this. A mess. 0.5/100.

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    ayanami
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    #1203176908

    To be fair, I am not black or a gay man. So I have no shared experiences with Harris whatsoever. But I tried to be objective when discussing it, and I still can’t really see myself relating to Harris’s intentions. I really do think Slave Play is a publicity stunt that frames black people as desiring validation from white people.

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    Kevin Klawitter
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    #1203177355

    To be fair, I am not black or a gay man. So I have no shared experiences with Harris whatsoever.

    Well, THAT certainly puts all of your statements about how a black gay author has “a strong desire and lust for white men.” in a different perspective.

    Maybe consider Harris’s background and experiences give him a unique perspective and have led him to confront these subjects in different ways because of it.

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    ayanami
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    #1203177389

    Well, THAT certainly puts all of your statements about how a black gay author has “a strong desire and lust for white men.” in a different perspective. Maybe consider Harris’s background and experiences give him a unique perspective and have led him to confront these subjects in different ways because of it.

    Lol I knew my addendum would somehow invalidate for some of you everything I already wrote.

    I did try to place myself in Harris’s position as empathetically as I could. Lust for white men is a common theme in all of Harris’s work so far. The play Daddy features a young black man in an intimate relationship with an older white man. In fact, Harris has made his desire for white men quite clear in his Vice essay, “How I came to grips with my attraction to white men.”

    So, knowing this, how is Slave Play anything more than a portrayal of white fetish backed up with pseudo psychology and faux academic speech? Slave Play features three black people begging their white partners to validate them. Why beg? White supremacy will never end if black people and minorities are constantly told to seek validation from white people.

    Romanticising master-slave r@pe may be a “unique” perspective, but only as much as it is an insensitive, and frankly, useless one. Imagine the same premise, except based around the Holocaust; a German couple and the Nazi man with say a Jewish woman, would there be any doubt that it is unacceptable? It’s crazy to me how slavery isn’t given as much respect.

    I usually try to be open minded.. but this play was just cringe. I hadn’t even touched on the archetypal characterisation and weak character development in the story. Anyway, I hope you know this is just my opinion. A story that suggests white validation is the answer to black empowerment is something I just couldn’t understand, and probably may never be able to fully understand as a non-black person. Perhaps someone on these threads who is black could share their thoughts on this?

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    ayanami
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    #1203177480

    Maybe consider Harris’s background and experiences give him a unique perspective and have led him to confront these subjects in different ways because of it.

    Okay. Beyond Slave Play and focusing on Harris’s experiences and thoughts specifically, these are quotes I plucked from his essay:

    “If becoming rich in white culture had taught me anything, it was how to colonize the minds of those you wished to conquer.”

    It’s hard to not be rich in white culture when living in a white-dominated society. So I can totally relate to Harris here when he says this.

    If by “colonising the minds of those you wish to conquer,” he means to seek validation from white people.. For what purpose? As I said before, white supremacy will only continue if minorities constantly feel the need to seek validation from their white peers. Surely removing yourself of that desire is the healthier option?

    “I began ruminating obsessively over why I felt this need to convince my white lovers I was something more than just “black”—to have them see me in a way I couldn’t even see myself.”

    White people claiming to be “unable to see colour” is perhaps the most annoying thing I’ve encountered. So pushing one’s white peers to recognise the racial trauma you have gone through is something I can totally understand someone wanting to do. But is role-playing master-slave relations really the best way of going about that? Not only is it extreme, but isn’t it also disrespectful to one’s enslaved ancestors? Desecrating that aspect of one’s ancestral history seems so unnecessary to me, and frankly, counterproductive to the efforts of dismantling white supremacy.

    “How could I ask that strangers find my black body beautiful when I saw black bodies as alien, foreign to my desires?”
    “I reveled in it—my status as exemplary, unique, white by cultural association.”

    I found these statements quite problematic. Harris prides himself on his proximity to whiteness (by cultural association), while also suggesting some feelings of “self-hatred” he has of the black identity. By “self-hatred” I mean the term which describes holding the identity group to which you belong, to a higher standard than other identity groups.

    This is disappointing, but not surprising given we live in a society where proximity to whiteness is a commodity. From my experience, these are actually common sentiments subconsciously held by too many people from racial minorities.

    However, I don’t see how seeking validation from white people could solve this issue, though. Rather than fostering colonial trauma.. Maybe discovering self-love and racial empowerment by appreciating your own culture, and detaching yourself from the effects of white colonisation, could be a better solution?

    In my opinion, though Harris’s efforts in Slave Play, he is fostering colonial trauma rather than solving it. Which is why I can’t appreciate the play. I hope this discussion makes my opinion easier to understand.

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    Awardsfan1990
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    #1203178522

    While I can understand your point of view, I cannot agree or disagree with you on anything, because I simply have not been able to see Slave Play or any other of Jeremy O. Harris’ plays. I’ll have to make up my my own mind if the day ever comes that I do have a chance to see it. I won’t ever have time to go down to New York City due to time and money, but I’m sure I’ll probably end up seeing a regional production of Slave Play someday because a lot of hit Broadway plays then get produced en masse in regional theaters for those who aren’t able to see them on Broadway.

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    ayanami
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    #1203178629

    Well, THAT certainly puts all of your statements about how a black gay author has “a strong desire and lust for white men.” in a different perspective.

    Lol of course this comment is getting the most traction. I don’t really see how, just because I’m not a black, gay man, I suddenly cannot criticise or dislike the play?  “Unlike (subject), I’ve never experienced X, so I can’t have an opinion on it,” is nothing but an appeal to authority fallacy.

    My statements about Harris’s “strong desire and lust for white men” is not only something he makes evident for people, not just gay black men, but all people, to detect within his plays. It’s actually also something Harris has explicitly confessed to in his essay, which I discussed a few posts above.

    So NO, I’m not making up “my statements” about him at all straight out of my as$. My criticisms of his play were backed up by my knowledge of Harris’s background and experiences as he himself has described in detail in his essay.

    Listen, I get having a desire and lust for white men. I’m a straight female so I can relate to Harris completely in that regard. It wasn’t meant to be an offensive remark. It’s just that his approach to confronting these subjects and specifically his approach to “decolonising” via Slave Play is just not something I agree with as a healthy, meaningful approach, for the reasons I stated above.

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    ayanami
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    #1203178645

    While I can understand your point of view, I cannot agree or disagree with you on anything, because I simply have not been able to see Slave Play or any other of Jeremy O. Harris’ plays.

    But you did disagree with it though. Since I don’t fall within the same identity group as Harris, my opinion is invalidated? Okay cool. It’s been fun hanging around these echo chambers! <3

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    Awardsfan1990
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    #1203178690

    I never said your opinion is invalidated. All I said was that I’ve never seen any of Harris’ work. Therefore, I can’t judge him and his talents as a playwright. If I judged Slave Play without seeing it, that would be completely pointless and unfair.

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203179275

    Complete casting has been announced for Second Stage Theatre’s upcoming Broadway revival of Take Me Out. Which includes Michael Oberholtzer, Joél Pérez, Julian Cihi, Hiram Delgado, Brandon J. Dirden, Carl Lundstedt, Ken Marks, and Will Harrison.
    https://www.broadway.com/buzz/197600/michael-oberholtzer-joel-perez-more-complete-the-cast-of-broadways-take-me-out-revival/

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    Awardsfan1990
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    #1203180831

    Reviews are out for Slava’s Snowshow, with the consensus being young kids will love it, but for adults, that will depend on whether or not they like clowns in the first place. https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Review-Roundup-SLAVAS-SNOWSHOW-Opens-On-Broadway-See-What-The-Critics-Are-Saying-20191114

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    Awardsfan1990
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    #1203181857

    Stefano Massini will be publishing a novelization of The Lehman Trilogy next June. http://www.playbill.com/article/stefano-massinis-the-lehman-trilogy-novel-will-be-published-in-the-us

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    Jeffrey Kare
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    #1203184028

    The Inheritance has opened on Broadway, and the reviews have been very good, though some weren’t as crazy about the play itself.
    https://www.broadwayworld.com/article/Review-Roundup-THE-INHERITANCE-Opens-on-Broadway-Updating-Live-20191117

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    Djoko
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    #1203184041

    I’m surprised the reviews for The Inheritance weren’t as rapturous as I thought they would be. The issue I found with the reviews that were mixed about it, like the NY Times, is that they reviewed it in comparison to Angels In America instead of treating it as its own entity. That’s why these old, stodgy theatre critics need to be replaced. I do have to say these reviews open the door for The Lehman Trilogy to win if it gets raves. Looks like it will be between the two marathon plays for the Best Play Tony.

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