Doorway Arts Ensemble The RaceBy Laura & Mike Clark • May 3rd, 2011 • Category: Reviews
Doorway Arts Ensemble
Montgomery College Performing Arts Center, Silver Spring, MD
Through May 22nd
$10/$5 Montgomery College
Reviewed April 30th, 2011
The Race, written and performed by John Milosich, is a multimedia autobiographical solo play which explores a white man’s awareness of race and racism. Portraying himself and a host of characters that are at once hilarious and infuriating, John confronts his own racism, calls into question his position of racial and social privilege, and challenges the apathy and prejudice that characterized his racist upbringing.
A one-man show can be boring, but John Milosich has chosen to take on one of the last taboos in America: race. Milosich gave a heart-felt performance discussing his coming to terms with race in America. And it was not just the black population that he looked at. There was also a scene about Mexican American culture and how some regard Mexicans as “lesser people.”
The performance was a combination of on-stage vidnettes, music, and video. The videos were presented as commercials, which allowed for Milosich to portray all the characters, male, female, black, white, brown, green, etc… Milosich was more or less believable when he played another character within the scenes he was sharing with us. His excellent use of his own body allowed us to quickly identify the characters, even when they returned later in the show in a different scene. His dance training came to life in his later numbers, especially as he was “swimming.” His strong yet graceful movements gave a feeling of strong emotion to his inner struggles with race and racism. There were a few points when the piano or background music made it difficult to hear all of Milosich’s lines. Milosich changed his basic costume a few times; while he was wearing the cape I was reminded of the fantasies that Calvin (of Calvin and Hobbes) would create in his own mind.
The scenes flowed quickly. If one doesn’t really strike your fancy, just wait a few minutes and another will appear. I’d be willing to bet that The Race will dredge up at least a few memories from your own life. The Race was an interesting show, although it really feels like it should be performed at Fringe Festival in a found space, as opposed to the more formal theater environment.
About five years ago, I began to experience an unfamiliar dissonance. I noticed walking down the street, at work, and in social settings. I became aware of a separation I felt between myself and people of color. My original aim was to build a performance that would carry some definitive message about race and racism, so I read as many books as I could get my hands on, became familiar with sociological theories, and spoke to those around me about their experiences. It seems niave now, to the point that it’s nearly impossible for me to declare anything at all. Rather, I think that the dissonance I felt comes from a disparity in awareness. Years later, it seems that the only right thing to do is pay attention, to read and ask, and to tell about my experience, hoping it helps us all lean in closer.
Photos provided by the Doorway Arts Ensemble.
- Performer/Playwright: John Milosich
- Director/Dramaturg: Regie Cabico
- Producer: Megan Myer
- Co-Producer: Perry T. Schwartz
- Co-Producer: Claire Myles
- Video Artist: S. Aerial Longmire
- Lighting Designer: Chris Campanella
- Stage Manager/Board Operator: Richard Robinson
Disclaimer: Doorway Arts Ensemble provided two complimentary media tickets to ShowBizRadio for this review.
This article can be linked to as: http://washingtondc.showbizradio.com/goto/6522.
Laura & Mike Clark started ShowBizRadio in August 2005 because they love live theater. They each have both performed in and worked behind the scenes in DC area productions, as well as earned a Career Studies Certificate in Theater from Northern Virginia Community College. Mike & Laura are each members of the American Theatre Critics Association, and Mike is a member of the Online News Association.