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SHUT DOWN SLAVE PLAY- Page 2

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Bwaydreamer3
Understudy
joined:7/7/14
Understudy Joined: 7/7/14
Slave Play#26
Posted: 6/21/19 at 10:16am
Troynow just because you had a problem with it doesn't dictate how everyone else should feel about it. And saying that it doesn't matter that the playwright and director are black is a load of crap. You don't turn off race your when it comes to art. Its apart of you. So yes the playwright and directer know exactly what they are doing and I commend them for that. Now more than ever we need challenging plays on broadway that examine new ideas. No, i have not seen the play, but when it came out I read every review I could find and I think the show and the twist are thrilling, eye opening and telling for our day and age now. If you want to get mad, fine get mad. But there's a hundred other shows to be mad about first before this one...
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Synecdoche2
Stand-by
joined:4/22/17
Stand-by Joined: 4/22/17
Slave Play#27
Posted: 6/21/19 at 10:20am

I think it's worth actually reading the change.org text, which focuses mostly on what the petition writer views as queer black men being disrespectful to black women. This is what the petition itself reads:

This past Saturday I attended Slave Play for the 8pm showing. I wanted to verbalize that this was one of the most disrespectful displays of anti-Black sentiment disguised as art that I have ever seen. As a Black woman I was terribly offended and traumatized by the graphic imagery mixed with laughter from a predominantly white audience.

I feel that the play’s writer and director, even as Queer Black men, were viscous in their depictions of slavery, Black sexuality, and specifically targets Black women. Slavery and its pervasive consequences that still affect the descendants of US chattel slavery are not funny and I am extremely disappointed that all involved thought this was an appropriate tool to challenge that status quo on race relations.

While I understand the subjective nature of art, there should be a line that freedom of expression does not cross when it’s connected to human atrocities, especially ones that have not truly been atoned for. The only reason I didn’t leave, like a couple of others, is that I wanted to watch the play in it’s entirety to gain full context of the vision. I was sadly disappointed that the final scene would be so degrading to my psyche.

Art, in any form, can not and should not be separated from its historical context. Hearing the crack of the whip in conjunction with the imagery and white audience members laughing sends chills up my spine as I write this.

I am reaching out to the theater in hopes that this can be an opportunity for you to take a stand against this type of disrespect. Black women specifically continue to be used and misused in public discourse. Our voices remain stifled in the rigidity of our existence. Our bodies are used and discarded without anyone being accountable. Just like when I reached out to the author of the play, he openly accused me of lying and called me a lonely soul. I produced a copy of the ticket and he did not retract or amend his initial statement when I was calling for an explanation of his artistic vision in reaction to the outcry against the existence of this play.

I am looking for resolve in this matter. I am looking for someone in this disaster of a production to take our concerns seriously. This play needs to be shut down. The depictions in this play are counterproductive to progressive racial dialogue. I am deeply disappointed and disgusted that there was no check system in this process.

Personally, I think if you're on the side of censoring art, you're on the wrong side, but criticism is always (often) worth listening to.

LarryD2
Broadway Legend
joined:9/1/14
Broadway Legend Joined: 9/1/14
Slave Play#28
Posted: 6/21/19 at 10:25am

Criticism is good and necessary. Speak about it, write about it, etc.

Saying that something shouldn't exist, or should be shuttered, because it makes you uncomfortable is not.

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Bwaydreamer3
Understudy
joined:7/7/14
Understudy Joined: 7/7/14
Slave Play#29
Posted: 6/21/19 at 10:33am
But again I think the petioner went in there, got offended by one thing and was unable to let it go for the rest of the show. The point of the show is not to depict the real life of slavery. Its literally not, so first we need to get that out of our heads. Second, if the white audience is laughing that sounds like a problem with the audience, not the play. The playwright said himself this is a comedic play that is suppose to make the audience uncomfortable. So should you be surprised at laughing... probably not. As a black woman I see things all the time that that offend the very being of who I am...but only when they say they are something and prove themselves another. This play never says its an accurate depication of slavery and for that matter you can be offened but you cannot be mad at what it does. Because it never said it was that to begin with. (Hopefully I'm making sense
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 10/9/05
Slave Play#30
Posted: 6/21/19 at 10:35am
Did the play get shut down yet? I woke up today and wondered if this thread did the trick overnight and stopped the show from transferring. I mean, it’s Broadwayworld so I’m guessing it did the trick.
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QueenAlice
Broadway Legend
joined:5/3/15
Broadway Legend Joined: 5/3/15
Slave Play#31
Posted: 6/21/19 at 10:41am

I had never heard of this play until this thread, but it has definitely peaked my interest in seeing and reading it.

“I knew who I was this morning, but I've changed a few times since then.”
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The Distinctive Baritone
Broadway Legend
joined:8/28/04
Broadway Legend Joined: 8/28/04
Slave Play#32
Posted: 6/21/19 at 11:25am
Since the new BWW editors seem to be on a mission to protect every emotion of everyone who could possibly be offended by anything, let me rephrase my original post:

The person who started this ad seems to be...a very sensitive soul. They were obviously very “triggered” (God I hate that word) by the content of the play and had an extremely emotional response to it. However, isn’t that...the whole point of theater?

Petitioning to shut down a play - unless it is breaking actual laws - is an act of censorship and just plain wrong. If you want to tell your friends that you don’t recommend a play, fine. But trying to get it shut down? Disgusting.
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Kalimba
Broadway Legend
joined:4/5/06
Broadway Legend Joined: 4/5/06
Slave Play#33
Posted: 6/21/19 at 11:26am

The OP is all about pearl-clutching and faux outrage.

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Huss417
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend Joined: 5/15/03
Slave Play#34
Posted: 6/21/19 at 11:48am

And what happens when the petition reaches 5000? Does it go before a jury of peers? Do the producers have to issue a statement? What is the significance of 5000?  I was on the fence about seeing this play but will now go out of curiosity when it opens.

"I hope your Fanny is bigger than my Peter." Mary Martin to Ezio Pinza opening night of Fanny.
Broadway61004
Broadway Star
joined:4/14/11
Broadway Star Joined: 4/14/11
Slave Play#35
Posted: 6/21/19 at 11:48am

Jordan Catalano said: "Did the play get shut down yet? I woke up today and wondered if this thread did the trick overnight and stopped the show from transferring. I mean, it’s Broadwayworld so I’m guessing it did the trick."

You didn't hear?  Yes, it was in the same announcement this morning that Tootsie is closing, Be More Chill is running forever and all actors are now required to spend at least 15 minutes interacting with every fan at the stage door.

NYCblurb
Featured Actor
joined:4/16/07
Featured Actor Joined: 4/16/07
Slave Play#36
Posted: 6/21/19 at 12:00pm

Troy did you see SLAVE PLAY? Written by a black queer human, you're objecting to what, exactly?

Art is called to compel discussion, curiosity, dissent and more isn't it? Those with small minds make calls for censorship such as this. If it was written by a Klansman, I would consider your lunacy as sound perhaps. As it is, it makes ZERO sense and is only a shrill annoying noise.

 

 

 

A lover of theater for decades. Teacher by day. Family man by night. See more theater than most, oftentimes a hesitant plus one.
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Fetus
Stand-by
joined:2/23/18
Stand-by Joined: 2/23/18
Slave Play#37
Posted: 6/21/19 at 12:32pm

If anything this petition has made me aware of and interested in this production. Anyone calling this racist fails to see the purpose, but I assume most of the signatures on this petition saw "stop this racist play 'slave play' from making it to Broadway!!!" and signed it without doing any research for themselves. Hope the faux outrage leads to opportunity for the playwright, I would like to see this!

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Kad
Broadway Legend
joined:11/5/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 11/5/05
Slave Play#38
Posted: 6/21/19 at 1:24pm

Remarkable that the aggrieved doesn’t even realize the title has two meanings. It’s not called The Slave Play. And that’s for a very specific reason.

"...everyone finally shut up, and the audience could enjoy the beginning of the Anatevka Pogram in peace."
Updated On: 6/21/19 at 01:24 PM
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Mister Matt
Broadway Legend
joined:5/17/03
Broadway Legend Joined: 5/17/03
Slave Play#39
Posted: 6/21/19 at 2:26pm

Having a black director and writer means nothing about the content.

So, the race of the writer and director of the play is irrelevant, but the race of the producers...is relevant?  How do you believe the play would have changed if the producers were black but the director and writer were the same?

"What can you expect from a bunch of seitan worshippers?" - Reginald Tresilian
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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 10/9/05
Slave Play#40
Posted: 6/21/19 at 2:49pm
I’m so excited for this. Anything that gets people triggered enough to start a petition to cancel it is usually something I’ll really enjoy.
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Pose2
Broadway Star
joined:4/24/19
Broadway Star Joined: 4/24/19
Slave Play#41
Posted: 6/21/19 at 2:55pm

Yeah but seriously, did you see the play Troynow?  

jbird5
Broadway Star
joined:12/20/15
Broadway Star Joined: 12/20/15
Slave Play#42
Posted: 6/21/19 at 3:08pm
I saw this play and it seemed to me that the black people in the audience (a significantly larger part than a typical show) laughed harder than the whites. From us whites it was more uncomfortable laughter. With the black audience it seemed to be more recognition.

In retrospect I find the play to be slick and pandering, which makes it perfect for Broadway. I actually preferred Daddy which I thought was a more honest insight into the playwright’s psyche.
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HeyMrMusic
Broadway Legend
joined:5/16/04
Broadway Legend Joined: 5/16/04
Slave Play#43
Posted: 6/21/19 at 3:15pm
I saw the play. Is it racist? No. Is it uncomfortable? Yes. Will it elicit a wide variety of opinions? Yes. But it’s not racist. It certainly explores racism and sexuality and psychology and how slavery has impacted society.
Impossible2
Broadway Legend
joined:3/31/18
Broadway Legend Joined: 3/31/18
Slave Play#44
Posted: 6/21/19 at 3:19pm

Jordan Catalano said: "Did the play get shut down yet? I woke up today and wondered if this thread did the trick overnight and stopped the show from transferring. I mean, it’s Broadwayworld so I’m guessing it did the trick."

Thank you Sir, I needed a good laugh today...

*thumbs up

troynow
Stand-by
joined:5/2/13
Stand-by Joined: 5/2/13
Slave Play#45
Posted: 6/21/19 at 3:19pm
Yes I saw the show, the same night that Whoopi Goldberg left the show
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Pose2
Broadway Star
joined:4/24/19
Broadway Star Joined: 4/24/19
Slave Play#46
Posted: 6/21/19 at 3:22pm

She stayed the entire time and met the playwright at the end.  Nice try though, it's clear you did not see this show. However, it will open and people will buy tickets. It's a brilliant show. Enjoy your day!

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Jordan Catalano
Broadway Legend
joined:10/9/05
Broadway Legend Joined: 10/9/05
Slave Play#47
Posted: 6/21/19 at 3:25pm

troynow said: "Yes I saw the show, the same night that Whoopi Goldberg left the show"

Try again...?

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Huss417
Broadway Legend
joined:5/15/03
Broadway Legend Joined: 5/15/03
Slave Play#48
Posted: 6/21/19 at 3:32pm

troynow said: "Yes I saw the show, the same night that Whoopi Goldberg left the show"

Wow.  I think you should check your facts.

Also for those interested there was a good article on Vulture about the play.

https://www.vulture.com/2019/03/jeremy-o-harris-slave-play-daddy-profile.html
 

"I hope your Fanny is bigger than my Peter." Mary Martin to Ezio Pinza opening night of Fanny.
Updated On: 6/21/19 at 03:32 PM
Islander_fan
Broadway Star
joined:6/25/14
Broadway Star Joined: 6/25/14
Slave Play#49
Posted: 6/21/19 at 3:56pm

My biggest pet peeve when it comes to people protesting a given play/musical is that most of them haven't seen it. Only getting up in arms based upon things that they heard. I remember when Scotsboro Boys was on Broadway and being picketed every performance. I had a brief discussion with one of them prior to seeing the show. I asked if he had seen it yet. However, he told me that based upon the fact that it's black actors in blackface he would't give the a penny. How can someone know a play is offensive without actually seeing it is something I'll never understand 

Keep in mind, that picketing shows is the perfect example of there's no such thing as bad press. Usually, when a show is full of protesters outside the theatre, their plan backfires. It gets people more interested in seeing it because they are curious to know what the protest is for in the first place. Goes to show you that in theatre, there's no such thing as bad press.

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ColorTheHours048
Broadway Legend
joined:4/4/08
Broadway Legend Joined: 4/4/08
Slave Play#50
Posted: 6/21/19 at 4:09pm

The OP may not have seen the show and may just be throwing around the “shut it down” refrain blindly, but it’s also clear some of you failed the read the petition writer’s reasons for objecting to the play. Namely, they were objecting to Harris’s treatment of African-American women, which I think is a valid critique given that Harris wrote a queer, Black man into the piece but chose to make the straight, Black woman the main character (if there even is a main character, since it’s largely an ensemble piece) and have her bear the eventual brutality that occurs in the final scene. Just because he’s Black and queer doesn’t mean Harris is above critique for writing a play about a sensitive subject that only semi speaks to his life experience.

Personally, I think the original petition writer is missing the forest for the trees and the intentionally incendiary tone the production sets. I’m also playing Devil’s advocate because I found it to be more of an idea in search of a narrative than a successful evening of theatre. Additionally, it’s not my place as a White man to tell a Black woman their experience was invalid.

Updated On: 6/21/19 at 04:09 PM