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Mar 02 2022

Black Playwright Demands All-Black Audiences

There are more hate hoaxes than you can shake a stick at, but you won’t easily find one where the make-believe victim was supposedly targeted for being white. Fabricating antiwhite racism would be absurd, because it is all around us.

This is even truer among the artsy-fartsy intelligentsia. Inda Craig-Galván describes herself as a “Black female playwright.” She saw “Slave Play” by Playwright of Color Jeremy O. Harris in Broadway and gripes that the audience was full of white people. In her graciousness, she doesn’t mind too much if audiences are “pale” in places like Poland…

What does bother me is sitting in a theater in Los Angeles or New York and being surrounded by a nearly all-white audience. How am I in the minority in New York? It’s New York! Well, it’s also white American theater. And it’s got a problem.

That problem is that it is white. Ms Craig-Hyphen-Galván does not approve of whites.

Without whites, it is inconceivable that she or Jeremy O. Harris could make a living without doing something more constructive with their time. How much of an audience would they find in Uganda? Only self-hating white liberal phonies have a use for this stuff.

Yet she feels no gratitude toward the white audience of “Slave Play”:

They laughed at the parts that weren’t funny: The moments of oft-experienced microaggressions. The parts of the play that a Black person might recognize as problematic, even painful. The parts that would make me sigh or groan. That white audience found those moments hilarious.

What’s really hilarious is Jeremy O. Harris. Seriously, this is him.

To properly appreciate his material, first you have to kick all the white people out, because “to remove the white gaze eliminates at least one hurdle in examining and experiencing the work.” That’s why they hold “Black Out” nights where whites are not allowed to posture absurdly by pretending the play is interesting.

Aja Houston, who went to see “Slave Play” during its invite-only Black Out night at the Taper last weekend in Los Angeles, says she felt powerful to be in this traditionally white theater space “surrounded by the healing, deafening sounds of Black joy without racial constraint. This power came from feeling safe, encouraged to be openly engaged, and fully seen, seen without feeling questioned about why my Blackness was allowed in.”

Craig-Hyphen-Galván characterizes presentations where no whites are allowed as “welcoming viewings.”

Jeremy O. Harris loves them:

“I’d never in my life had the experience of sitting in the theater with only Black people,” he says.

So does Craig-Hyphen-Galván:

Personally, I was more engaged and felt more able to examine the Black characters’ arcs during the Black Out performance.

But opportunities to see plays with no whites allowed are rare, which Ms C-G regards as problematic.

[Jeremy O.] Harris has a solution for how and when this problem gets addressed. He says it involves changing the dynamics of theatergoing itself and for theaters to think actively about holding Black Out performances of their own — “radically bringing Black people to the theater.” Similar targeted audience nights are happening more and more, including Harvard’s production of “Macbeth in Stride,” Dominique Morisseau’s “Pipeline” at Lincoln Center, and both Katori Hall’s “The Hot Wing King” and Lauren Yee’s “Cambodian Rock Band” at Signature Theatre.

Who wants to wait until the stated CRT objective of abolishing white people has been achieved before they can enjoy watching a play with no whites around?

The liberal media and education establishments endlessly yell in our faces that whites are bad for being racist against blacks. Try to imagine white playwrights demanding all-white audiences.

On a tip from Bruce L.


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One Response to “Black Playwright Demands All-Black Audiences”

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