BWW Interview: Q &A WITH DIRECTOR, CAST, AND CREW OF IN THE BLOOD at Vivid Theatre Productions
Broadway World sits down with director Drew Eberhard, stage manager Athena Romanski, and the six-member cast of In the Blood, D'Devah Simpson, Jason Abreu, Sonali Balan, Keith Batchelor Jr., Jeffrey Holmes, and Lena Morrisseau to discuss the importance of this hard-hitting drama written by Suzan-Lori Parks.
In the Blood tells the story of a mother, Hester, raising her five children, with the fathers not around. Living in poverty, she is trying to make her children's lives better. It is a tale of exploitation. Each person who interacts with Hester abuses her in their own way.
Broadway World: What is the message of this show?
Jason (Chilli/Jabber): It's about trying to get through life daily. This particular character has it tougher than anyone else, and you're getting a chance to see life through her eyes.
Keith (Reverend D./Baby): The show deals with a lot of different things people go through, has very strong dramatic elements where people are going to be able to find themselves relating in some situations. It's very powerful and very riveting.
Lena (Welfare Lady/Bully): Don't be so quick to judge. You can never understand what someone's reality is until you've had a chance to live through it.
Broadway World: Is there a particular scene that stands out?
Sonali (Amiga Gringa/Beauty): A scene that stands out is when Hester is feeding her children and does not feed herself. I think it creates an emotional wave over all of us because it puts you into the perspective of someone so selfless and someone so cares about her children, that despite going hungry, she's happy to see her children eat. That was a very touching scene for a lot of us.
Jeffrey (Doctor/Trouble): There's so many. It's such an interesting dark piece, but I would have to say the breaking point of Hester. I don't want to give it away, but there is a breaking point. I think it's fascinating to find how far a mother's love can be pushed and tested, especially when it affects her own life, and she realizes that she hasn't been selfish enough for herself.
Broadway World: Who should see this show?
Lena: Everyone! No matter what you've experienced, or you may have thought you experienced - life, struggle, and pursuit of happiness - everyone can relate to that dream.
Athena: People who have ever struggled should absolutely see this show. At the forefront, it is about a woman who is struggling and not just in her life, but in her mind. It's an intense and real show that touches subjects in our society that should be heard from more.
Broadway World: What do you want your audience to be talking about on the drive home?
D'Devah (Hester LaNegrita): I want them to be talking about how the show makes society accountable.
Drew: I want them to feel empathy. I want them to feel compassion for a group of people who are generally looked upon the way they shouldn't be. They should take their altruistic minds and hearts and give that to a version of society that's often looked down upon.
In the Blood is November 8-17 at Powerstories Theatre, 2105 West Kennedy Blvd. in Tampa. Learn more at http://www.vividtheatreproductions.org/Performances.html. Follow on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/pg/Vividtheatreproductions1. Purchase tickets at https://vivid-theatre-productions.ticketleap.com/in-the-blood/