While racial tensions in America are at a peak, the Resident Ensemble Players (REP) continues its imaginative audio season with a daring look at all things racial with their world premiere of Talk About Race, conceived, written, and directed by REP company member Hassan El-Amin.
This thought-provoking and engaging production moves quickly and captivatingly through a mix of vignettes using sketch comedy, obscure American history, rousing contemporary and historical speeches, and original musical numbers to create new perspectives on a subject that touches all of us.
Race is a tough subject for many people and conversations about it are rarely productive. "People are in their own corners, their own world," says writer-director Hassan El-Amin when asked why these conversations are so difficult. "I think music and humor is a way to get in. This production is part sketch comedy, part satire, part history, and part music. Music allows for another way of hearing because it dictates feeling. Music can control your emotions, and I look for that to happen. We want to examine this heavy subject in a way that actually makes a difference."
The cast includes REP company members Hassan El-Amin* (Narrator, Abdul El Razzac, John Wesley, Black Voices), Lee E. Ernst* (Supreme Court Justice, Samuel Tarver), Michael Gotch* (Announcer Rose Garden, Kyle, Game Show Announcer), Elizabeth Heflin* (Becky Wiznewski, Teacher Conf Host), Mic Matarrese* (Game Show Host, Abraham Lincoln, Police Dispatcher), Stephen Pelinski* (George Wallace, Sergeant Steve Gooden), Kathleen Pirkl Tague* (Jane Elliot, Woman on the Street), and René Thornton Jr.* (President, Professor H., James Avery, Black Voices). Guest actors include Toni Martin* (Black Voices, Black Voice Protestor, Soulful Radio Announcer, Lezley McSpadden) and Briana Henry (Black Voices, Black Voice Protestor).
*Members of Actors' Equity Association
The creative team includes Hassan El-Amin (Director) and Ryan P. McGinty (Sound Designer). Featured music artists include the gospel group Next Level featuring Theotis Duncan and Eric Overstreet, rap artist Young Reef, pianist Stephen Gooden, and music tracks producer Terrance Turner, Profose-e Muzik.
Talk About Race will be available for streaming for free anytime online from FEBRUARY 5th to FEBRUARY 28th through the REP's website at www.rep.udel.edu/presentations/talk-about-race.