SEASON 9 - 2002
An American Tract
by Barbara White Morgan
November 15 - December 15, 2002
The L.A. Weekly
Written 11/21/02 (Lovell Estell III)
Set in a California suburb in 1986, Barbara White-Morgan's play, neatly directed by Roy Fegan, is about the ups and downs experienced by an urban black family who acquire a home in an upscale, lily-white enclave. Anne Jackson (Teressa Taylor), her boyfriend, Earl (Rico E. Anderson), and Jack son's two sons, Jimmy (Christopher Richardson) and Rodney (Jarreau James), are indeed aliens and alienated in a world of homeowner's fees and regulations, debutante balls and snooping, snooty neighbors. Eventually they develop edgy friendships with the Rivers family - John (Darrell Phillip), wife Betty (Amy Hayes), daughter Kim (Melinda Lively) and son David (Alex Sanders). Culture shock abounds with many charg ed, awkward moments - but with humor as well. Kim and the troubled Rodney develop a genuine friendship, as do Jimmy and David, who provide the show's funniest moments with their dance and rap ditties. But Anne's entrenched determination to keep her home and to fit in is not without a cost to herself and her family, and in a searing moment of revelation, she learns that in spite of the best intentions and appearances, hydra-headed prejudice cannot be easily vanquished. Morgan is a good storyteller, and even if her play is preachy and heavy handed at times, it's refreshingly accessible given the enduring conundrums of the subject matter. The performances are uniformly effect.
I TOTALLY enjoyed the play, both me and my best Ujima did. It sounded like the tamest of all the shows I have seen with Towne Street, so I wasn't sure what to expect. I must say that I was surprised and enjoyed myself so much. It was wonderful! I kept saying, I need to adopt that little boy! And the woman who played the mother was so real, I kept forgetting I was watching a character, not a real person. And of course I laughed at her boyfriend, because he played a cheater in Joleta, so I knew he was up to no good from jump, LOL. Poor guy! Anyway, it was wonderful! I look forward to seeing even more! Thanks for the invite and thanks for all the hard work you've done! You guys are THE BOMB!
Hello Ms. Nancy Davis,
I was so impressed by An American Tract I would like to be included on your guest list. I also will make a donation prior to Jan. 1. Please keep me informed regarding future programs and events.
I also wanted to thank you for a wonderful afternoon at the theater.
An American Tract was extremely well done as well as riveting. While I kept wanting the scenes in the first act to be a moment or two longer so that. The tension could build (perhaps I, too, have been watching too much tv!!!!), that need was met by the scenes in the second act. One of my students also commented on the professionalism and grace of all those working behind the scenes and especially those who welcomed us in the lobby. She and I were both struck by the almost universal poise of the Black women we were greeted by and who took our tickets and conversed with us. A very good impression!!!!
Lastly, I noticed in my program from An American Tract that the Towne Street Theatre looks at unsolicited plays for a reading fee of $30. I have a one-act that's been hiding out in a drawer for a year or two that I may dust off and send in, if Towne Street is indeed receptive to such submissions. I'd appreciate a word of advice about this. Above all, have a wonderful holiday season and a blessed Christmas And New Years.
As my budget will allow, I hope to get season tickets for Towne Street's 2003 productions. I am particularly interested in the revival Of Passing; I loved Nella Larsen's two novels when I was a doctoral student And even wrote a paper on her. Good luck in 2003 and happy holidays.