Windy City Media Group Frontpage News
Celebrating 30 Years of Gay Lesbian Bisexual and Trans News
home search facebook twitter join
Gay News Sponsor Windy City Times 2019-01-16
DOWNLOAD ISSUE
About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor

  WINDY CITY TIMES

THEATER REVIEW Until the Flood
by Catey Sullivan
2018-05-07

facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email


Playwright: Dael Orlandersmith

At: Goodman Theatre, 170 N. Dearborn St. Tickets: $10-$29; Goodmantheatre.org . Runs through: May 12

Roughly midway through her riveting one-woman show Until the Flood, writer/performer Dael Orlandersmith slips into the character of a white woman in a Ferguson, Missouri, wine bar.

The character is talking about Michael Brown and Darren Wilson. Wilson, a Ferguson cop, gunned down Brown, an unarmed black teenager, on Aug. 9, 2014. The murder sparked riots across the country. After Ferguson burned, Orlandersmith interviewed dozens of people about the killing and racism, and the impact of both on their lives.

In the wine bar scene, the white woman earnestly informs her Black friend that she "feels bad for both" Brown and Wilson. To which the friend angrily points out that there can be no comparison between the two. Darren Wilson is alive. Michael Brown is dead. The tragedy of an 18-year-old shot in the back and the cop who lives free after firing the gun are incomparable.

The wine-bar white woman is caught up short. In Orlandersmith's endlessly expressive face, you see the alarm and shock of someone who has just seen their world view shift on its axis.

It's one of roughly eight enthralling and essential scenes in the 70-minute Until the Flood. Based on interviews Orlandersmith conducted with dozens of people about the Ferguson murder, Until the Flood is a vivid collage that has the power to evoke despair and hope and rage in equal measure.

From the white supremacist who has poisons his seven-year-old son against people of color to the neighborhood elders who chillingly recall the era of "sundown laws," the people of The Flood are impossible to forget. Director Neel Keller makes sure that Michael Brown's presence informs all of them. So does Takeshi Sati's set—a glowing memorial of balloons, flowers, stuffed animals and candles.

Orlandersmith has long been a maestro of chameleonic shifts. If you've seen her earlier docudrams ( Black and Blue Boys/Broken Men, Stoop Stories ) you know that she creates worlds within worlds with no more than words and a chair. Until the Flood is immensely compelling, but it also has a sense of world-weariness to it. Brown is one among many Black people murdered by white cops. We may never know the precise circumstances, but there's no arguing with the fact that white people usually walk away from these extrajudicial killings. The Black people are forever gone.

The spectrum of characters—many composites crafted from the interviews Orlandersmit conducted—is wide: From a retired Black schoolteacher whose words frame the piece to teenagers who rap about harassment and despair. The latter imagines one of the last things Brown saw—an angry white man and the barrel of a gun.

Orlandersmith doesn't make it entirely easy to parse Mike Brown's murder in terms of victims and villains. You may hate the white man who advocates lining up black people and executing them, but he's painted with such nuance that he's impossible to just dismiss as a cartoon cutout. Nothing is excused or forgiven in Until the Flood. But it is all so heartbreakingly recognizable.


facebook twitter pin it google +1 reddit email





Windy City Media Group does not approve or necessarily agree with the views posted below.
Please do not post letters to the editor here. Please also be civil in your dialogue.
If you need to be mean, just know that the longer you stay on this page, the more you help us.


  ARTICLES YOU MIGHT LIKE

Gay News

Digital lottery, rush tickets for 'Fiddler' 2019-02-02 - Broadway In Chicago announced that there will be a digital lottery and rush tickets for the Broadway revival of Fiddler on the Roof, ...


Gay News

New authors take on hard-hitting subjects at Playwrights Festival 2019-01-16 - With this year's crop of student one-acts, Pegasus Theatre Chicago is tackling homophobia, gentrification and other urban ordinariness that carries a political charge ...


Gay News

Fillet of Solo Storytelling Fest, Archy Jamjun, A Boy & A Diva Jan. 18, 25 2019-01-16 - Two-time The Moth GrandSLAM winner Archy Jamjun premieres his debut one man show, A Boy & A Diva, Jan. 18 and 25, as ...


Gay News

'Hedwig' tour in Chicago in 2019 2019-01-16 - John Cameron Mitchell—the Tony-winning, Golden Globe-nominated co-creator of Hedwig & the Angry Inch—will bring his rock spectacle to the United States for the ...


Gay News

Groundbreaking 'I AM... Fest' April 27-29 2019-01-16 - Black Lives, Black Words International Project will launch the I AM… Fest, in partnership with Goodman Theatre. This first-of-its-kind international festival will take ...


Gay News

Johnson/Nash book release party Jan. 31 2019-01-16 - A joint book release celebrating E. Patrick Johnson's Black. Queer. Southern. Women: An Oral History and Jennifer Nash's Black Feminism Reimagined: After Intersectionality ...


Gay News

OUT on Stage' Jan. 17 on Dekkoo 2019-01-16 - OUT on Stage: The Series will debut Thursday, Jan. 17, on LGBT subscription-based streaming network Dekkoo. Zach Noe Towers hosts the show, which ...


Gay News

18th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival line-up named 2019-01-16 - SketchFest Executive Producer Jill Valentine announced the official line-up for the 18th Annual Chicago Sketch Comedy Festival, taking place through Jan. 20 at ...


Gay News

'Nina Simone' through March 2 2019-01-16 - Northlight Theatre, under the direction of Artistic Director BJ Jones and Executive Director Timothy J. Evans, continues its 2018-19 season with Nina Simone: ...


Gay News

NUNN ON ONE Kristina Valada-Viars: Out actress discusses lengthy career 2019-01-16 - Out actress Kristina Valada-Viars continues to expand her life in theater. A big part of this is thanks to the Steppenwolf and ...


 



Copyright © 2019 Windy City Media Group. All rights reserved.
Reprint by permission only. PDFs for back issues are downloadable from
our online archives. Single copies of back issues in print form are
available for $4 per issue, older than one month for $6 if available,
by check to the mailing address listed below.

Return postage must accompany all manuscripts, drawings, and
photographs submitted if they are to be returned, and no
responsibility may be assumed for unsolicited materials.
All rights to letters, art and photos sent to Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago
Gay and Lesbian News and Feature Publication) will be treated
as unconditionally assigned for publication purposes and as such,
subject to editing and comment. The opinions expressed by the
columnists, cartoonists, letter writers, and commentators are
their own and do not necessarily reflect the position of Nightspots
(Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay,
Lesbian, Bisexual and Transegender News and Feature Publication).

The appearance of a name, image or photo of a person or group in
Nightspots (Chicago GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times
(a Chicago Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Transgender News and Feature
Publication) does not indicate the sexual orientation of such
individuals or groups. While we encourage readers to support the
advertisers who make this newspaper possible, Nightspots (Chicago
GLBT Nightlife News) and Windy City Times (a Chicago Gay, Lesbian
News and Feature Publication) cannot accept responsibility for
any advertising claims or promotions.

 

 

 

TRENDINGBREAKINGPHOTOS

Sponsor
Sponsor
Sponsor


 



Sponsor

About WCMG Publications News Index  Entertainment Features Bars & Clubs Calendar Videos Advertisers OUT! Guide    Marriage


About WCMG      Contact Us      Online Front  Page      Windy City  Times      Nightspots      OUT! Guide     
Identity      BLACKlines      En La Vida      Archives      Subscriptions      Distribution      Windy City Queercast     
Queercast Archives      Advertising  Rates      Deadlines      Advanced Search     
Press  Releases      Event Photos      Join WCMG  Email List      Email Blast     
Upcoming Events      Todays Events      Ongoing Events      Post an Event      Bar Guide      Community Groups      In Memoriam      Outguide Categories      Outguide Advertisers      Search Outguide      Travel      Dining Out      Blogs      Spotlight  Video     
Classifieds      Real Estate      Place a  Classified     

Windy City Media Group produces Windy City Queercast, & publishes Windy City Times,
The Bi-Weekly Voice of the Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual and Trans Community,
Nightspots, Out! Resource Guide, and Identity.
5315 N. Clark St. #192, Chicago, IL 60640-2113 • PH (773) 871-7610 • FAX (773) 871-7609.