Jeremy O. Harris on ‘Slave Play’ and the Future of Theatre with Trevor Noah: VIDEO

“The Old South lives on at the MacGregor Plantation — in the breeze, in the cotton fields…and in the crack of the whip. It’s an antebellum fever-dream, where fear and desire entwine in the looming shadow of the Master’s House. Jim trembles as Kaneisha handles melons in the cottage, Alana perspires in time with the plucking of Phillip’s fiddle in the boudoir, while Dustin cowers at the heel of Gary’s big, black boot in the barn.

Nothing is as it seems, and yet everything is as it seems.”

This description includes the title which playwright, Jeremy O. Harris chose for his record breaking, 12 Tony Award nominated, Broadway debut, Slave Play.  Before it opened in the fall of 2019, the question everyone kept asking was “Is Broadway ready for Slave Play?”  It should tell you something when outside the theatre were notices stating it’s for “mature audiences, recommended 17+” and inside the Playbill, directly beneath the “CAST” was “A Note On Your Discomfort.”

No one was in their comfort zone and this was not a safe space.  But no one ever said the theatre, especially great theatre, should be either of those things.  Harris knows that and it’s what makes him fearless and scary and thrilling and groundbreaking.  He’s also a trip and half to hear talk about his work and his passions as he did with The Daily Show’s Trevor Noah.

 

“You need to make Black art for your Black self.” -Jeremy O. Harris

 

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