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January 10, 2003 - Image 80

Resource type:
Text
Publication:
The Detroit Jewish News, 2003-01-10

Disclaimer: Computer generated plain text may have errors. Read more about this.

Curtain Call

NITE ITALIAN°

`The No Show'

aia y

Written by an African American playwright,
`No Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs" ultimately speaks
to brotherhood and healing racial division.

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get — America's Jim Crow period,
which had practices very similar to
what was happening through
apartheid in South Africa.
"I've read the play many times while
preparing to direct, and I've found it
very moving because of the great char-
acter interaction. It's the kind of enter-
tainment that enlightens, educates and
reminds us of the past, and I think
that's very necessary.
"Ultimately, it speaks to truth, and
that's what art is about."

C ompromise has come to the
title of John Henry
Redwood's latest play.
Although Redwood
prefers his play's original title, No
Niggers, No Jews, No Dogs, his publish-
er will allow the production to be pre-
sented as The No Show on request.
The move is to prevent offenses that
could be taken encountering the raw
language of the title out
of context. Requests to
use the alternate version
were made by newspa-
pers running ads for the
production in
Philadelphia, where the
show premiered, and in
Detroit, where the play
will be performed in its
Michigan premiere Jan.
16-March 23 at Detroit
Repertory Theatre.
Difficult compromise
already was a core theme
of the historical drama,
and appears in many
forms throughout
Redwood's play. The script
explores life concessions
made by minorities, more
specifically blacks and
Greg Uszewski, as Yaveni Aaronsohn, and Baseemah L
Jews, as they search for
Mustafaa,
as Matoka Cheeks, rehearse for Niggers,
opportunity in America.
No
Jews,
No
Dogs" at Detroit Repertory Theatre.
The play, set in 1949
North Carolina, follows a
Jewish scholar as he researches the
Common Ground
comparative suffering of blacks and
Cleveland, who is directing his first
Jews and as he becomes acquainted
production with Detroit Repertory
with one black family.
Theatre, explains that the action takes
The African-American playwright
place in a very rural and isolated part
wants his audiences to look beneath
of the state.
the outer signs of racism — from the
Although distrust and fear represent
small Southern posters on which the
play's title is based to the behavior that the black family's first reaction to the
researcher working on a book, tragic
expresses bigotry.
events bring the characters together as
"The title is very profane, but the
they traverse common ground.
play itself is not," says director Jerry
The playwright, recently awarded
Cleveland, an assistant theater profes-
the
Southern Writers' Bryan Family
sor and director of the Black Theatre
Foundation
Drama Prize, intended
Program at Wayne State University.
that the idea of common ground have
"The production takes us back to
an important impact on audiences.
a time that blacks would like to for-

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