Theater Info for the Washington DC region

AccokeekCreek Theatre Company Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues

By • Mar 29th, 2008 • Category: Reviews

Listen to our review of AccokeekCreek Theatre Company’s production of Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues [MP3 3:15 1.5MB].

Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues
AccokeekCreek TheatreCo
The Black Box Theatre, Indian Head, MD
$18/$15 Seniors, Students and Members (Fri – Sun)
$10/Free for high school students (Thur)
Through April 6th

On the morning of August 29, 2005 Hurricane Katrina made landfall at southeast Louisiana causing severe damage along the Gulf Coast. In the aftermath of the storm, the federal flood protection system in New Orleans failed in more than fifty places and nearly every levee breached exposing a major American city unprepared to respond to the rising waters. In a series of ten stirring monologues, singer-songwriter and playwright Tom Flannery tells the stories of those forgotten by the most powerful among us.

Reality TV has come to theater- but not as you know it. Five actors, a blues man and a live feed on multiple TV’s are the premise for a stirring and all to real insight of life on the bayou…post-Katrina.

Tom Flannery’s play Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues invites the audience to a series of monologues from the dead and the living, young and old, black and white…. We are mercilessly reminded that tragedy is no respecter of color, of race, of position, of …anything. As Flannery so eloquently says in the opening of the show “Now you get to see how the other half lives…and dies too for that matter.”

DC blues musician Michael Baytop and a solid troupe of actors present a stirring insight into our human condition. There is no attempt to trivialize or embellish in the writing or production of The Katrina Monologues what is a life changing (and life taking event) for all.

Director Bob Bartlett and a talented cast rely solely on the voices and the stories and the melancholy thread of the blues to keep this piece moving – and it does. Ten monologues, a sprinkling of songs and live feed TV from Katrina present a tight 90 minute show.

There is no absence of drama in the stories but there is room for laughter and wonder and awe for this force of nature that but for the grace of God, could take anyone of us at anytime, anywhere. Nature is no respecter of persons. “But when the water came…it came like it meant to hurt people. It wasn’t just passing through, if you know what I mean. It was invading.”

One of the riveting bites from the script is that of a middle-class white woman watching the tragedy on TV. “But the beauty of our time is that you don’t have to pull a Bin Laden and crawl into a cave to get away. You need only to turn off the TV. You can become disengaged without getting off the couch.”

Kudos to a very talented cast on their outstanding and versatile performances. Jared Shamberger presented a wonderful sense of warmth, and gentle humour in contrast to the mesmerizing frailty of actress Charmain Crawford. Rhonda Carter proved versatile and engaging as both a middle class white woman and an elderly black man. Nicole Carter offered two distinctly riveting and constrasting performances while Jivon Lee Jackson – a last minute stand in- effectively captured the agony and angst of a New Orleans Police Officer.

The tragedy of this production will be the theater-goers, who just like TV watchers, choose not to engage. Tragedy, and our response to it, are building blocks not only for good drama but for good community. Support your theater. Support your community. All proceeds from the production benefit The Black Box Theatre and The American Red Cross, Southern Maryland Chapter Disaster Fund.

Colorblind: The Katrina Monologues runs from March 27 through April 6. Buy tickets now by calling 800-494-8497.

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works nationally and internationally as an opera singer, coach, teacher, conductor and stage director. She is the CEO of Saltnote Stageworks, a non-profit corporation that promotes education & performance opportunities for emerging artists.

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