Theatre

Wednesday, 13 January 2016 10:56

Review: Byhalia, Mississippi at Den Theatre Featured

Written by
Evan Linder and Liz Sharpe in Byhalia, Mississippi, also written by Linder Evan Linder and Liz Sharpe in Byhalia, Mississippi, also written by Linder

The New Colony and Definition Theatre Company’s collaboration “Byhalia, Mississippi” opens up with a young white trash couple from the play’s titled town who are about to have their first child. The dialogue between the family is witty and sharp and you immediately feel like you are in the South. Overdue by two weeks, their baby is being stubborn as hell. Finally, he arrives – and he is black. With Byhalia’s racial narrow past, you can imagine that this is when the mood in the story drastically changes. 

 

"Byhalia Mississppi" highlights many issues in racial relations especially found in the underlying comments many of the characters made. The couple, played by Liz Sharpe and Evan Linder, are very powerful and work well together. Linder also wrote the play - and it is very well written. There were times in which I felt uncomfortable as an audience member not only because of the topics being discussed but also by the overly dramatic acting of Mr. Linder, which, in retrospect, may have been called for to make his character “Jim” more believable. Remember, it is the South so I imagine they were using his excessive animation as an angle. Regardless, it was still distracting at times. 

 

Besides bringing important racial and class issues to light, what I love about this play is that the theatre will be hosting a world premiere conversation on Monday, January 18th which is MLK day. The play will be premiering in seven cities across North America and the audiences will connect afterward to have a discussion. I have never heard of this before and I think it is well worth the two-hours of time to try and attend. 

 

When reflecting on this play, I can't help but realize how far we have to go in regards to racism in this country. As an aunt of biracial nieces, I wonder what their world will be like. Will they struggle with their identity in having to choose one race over another? Will it even matter? My hope is no, but what I do know is that we have the power to make a difference now. 

 

Catch the “Byhalia, Mississippi” at The Den Theatre now through February 14th. It is sure to strike up conversation about racism in America and, at the same time, leave you wanting to say "y'all." For tickets and/or more information visit www.thenewcolony.org.

Last modified on Friday, 15 January 2016 11:11
Sara Hassan

"Living the dream and loving life."

 

 

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