By Kelsey Blackwell
Race. The set was simple: a raked stage under a modern day attorney’s office. Every part of the stage was utilized with naturalistic and intentional direction. Focus was placed appropriately on the play’s writing, direction, and acting. Mamet’s brazen, open, and honest language pulled audience members to the edge of their seats. Actors V. Akil Jackson, Harry Hudgins, Whitacker Garnder, and Tatyana Arrington they had a very consistent handle of what they wanted throughout the show. The dynamic between the characters was clear and interesting. Arrington did a particularly stunning job developing and transforming her character. She blossomed from a soft-spoken student into a powerful passionate heroine. In the end, while all of the characters are identifiable, they are still not innocent.
Georgia Southern University’s Race effectively projected a mirror image of today’s society, making it difficult for audience members to ignore modern issues of racism and sexism.
It is bold to produce a play about touchy social topics. As theatrical artists it is our mission to make people think and feel. Says director Lisa L. Abbott, “This show asks you to think, react, and respond” The production of Race did that for me. It did what theatre should do.