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A Rap on Race

Recommended, Don’t Miss

Seattle Repertory Theatre Seattle Center
Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 22 2016

$40

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In 1970, James Baldwin (one of the best writers America has ever produced) and anthropologist Margaret Mead (the only anthropologist America has ever heard of) recorded a passionate and prescient seven-and-a-half-hour conversation, which was later turned into the book A Rap on Race. In a show with the same title, created by Spectrum Dance Theater, Tony Award–nominated local choreographer Donald Byrd and MacArthur genius playwright/performer Anna Deavere Smith reproduced sections of Baldwin and Mead's long-form, heady, booze-buoyed discussion and cut it with spurts of drunk-jazz dance numbers. Baldwin (played by Byrd) and Mead (played by Julie Briskman) carry out their argument on a platform suspended high above the stage. After certain dramatic moments, dancers rush the boards and perform a dance that embodies the argument the audience just heard. At the climax of the show, Baldwin summarizes the conflict with perfect clarity: "We've got to make some connection between what you believe and what I've endured," he says. Like so much of Baldwin, the resonance of that line spreads off the stage and into present-day, real-life tensions. RICH SMITH

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Seattle Repertory Theatre

155 Mercer St, Seattle, WA 98109
206-443-2222
http://seattlerep.org/

Event Times
This event is in the past.
  • Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through May 22 2016
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