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BWW Review: THE LIGHT at Shotgun Players

The Light continues through Sunday, December 13, 2020.

BWW Review: THE LIGHT at Shotgun Players

The Light

Written by Loy A. Webb

Directed by Nailah Harper-Malveaux

Shotgun Players

06 December 2020

Chicago-based Loy A. Webb's The Light is much more than a sweet proposal tale between African American couple Rashad (Kenny Scott) and Genesis (Leigh Rondon-Davis). Their two-year anniversary and gift giving evening is a jumping off point for a very heavy socio-political didactic on domestic violence and the plight of Black women. Not your typical holiday fare you'd think, but there is an uplifting denouement that provides hope for not just this couple, but for society at large.

Its Chicago 2018 and our lovebirds are exchanging anniversary gifts and bantering back and forth when the topic of the Cavanaugh Supreme Court confirmation hearings comes up which included charges of sexual assault. It's a premonition on the upcoming shocking revelation that becomes the focus of the piece. Actors Scott and Rondon-Davis are a real-life couple, and the play is staged in their apartment using multiple hidden cameras. Their authenticity helps develop their characters and enhances the dramatic confrontation that threatens their future.

The first half of this 70-minute piece is cutesy and warm as they acknowledge their relationship. She gives him a football season pass; he gives her a letter he wrote soon after they met that signals his love at first site commitment to her. Genesis reveals that having sex with the lights on was a huge breakthrough for her. When he surprises her with tickets to a concert with a fictional rapper, she insists she won't go as the singer is a misogynist.

BWW Review: THE LIGHT at Shotgun Players
Leigh Rondon-Davis (Genesis) and Kenny Scott (Rashad)

One revelation leads to another and the couple reach a point of seamless no return. Genesis bears the brunt of age-old downplaying of the role and plight of the Black woman. Disrespected and unsupported, she represents an entire generation of women, a tough burden to bear indeed. Rashad is not exactly a representative of the white privileged class and counters that "brothers like me always pay a hefty price". It's a teachable moment for Rashad in what it takes to make their relationship work. Problem is, Genesis, a High School Principal, is in no mood to teach.

While her position seems unnaturally intractable, in the end, there's hope and that makes The Light a parable of what can be through the strength and courage of two committed lovers.

The Light continues through Sunday, December 13, 2020. Pay-what-you-can $8-$40. Advance reservations required. For more information, go to https://shotgunplayers.org/online/article/the-light

Photos by Kenny Scott and Leigh Rondon-Davis, Nailah Harper-Malveaux.



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