Harry Hamm: Rep’s ‘Flood’ Skims the Topic

Harry Hamm

harry star 3andahalfstars Harry Hamm: Reps Flood Skims the Topic

The Rep commissioned noted writer and actor Dael Orlandersmith to interview a broad selection of  people from various areas in this region concerning the events in Ferguson surrounding Michael Brown. The results of those interviews is a one act play, “Until the Flood,” in which Orlandersmith portrays eight of the people she interviewed. She paraphrases what they said and presents their points of view, feelings and impressions with conviction and authenticity. It’s engagement at The Rep is a world premiere.

Until the Flood written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Neel Keller and presented by Repertory Theater in St. Louis, Missouri on Oct 11, 2016.

Photo courtesy of The Rep

Orlandersmith is a very capable and, in many respects, a very likeable performer whose sincerity and credibility give “Unitl the Flood” a very agreeable viewing veneer.

Until the Flood written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Neel Keller and presented by Repertory Theater in St. Louis, Missouri on Oct 11, 2016.

Photo courtesy of The Rep

Among the people she portrays are an elderly Ferguson resident, an 18-year-old teen, a local barber and a veteran white police officer. Overall, it represents an excellent cross-section that provides insight into the entire event and its aftermath. It tries to deal with everyone in the audience as individuals, posing questions about what it all meant to us personally and letting us in on the other vital viewpoints.

Until the Flood written and performed by Dael Orlandersmith, directed by Neel Keller and presented by Repertory Theater in St. Louis, Missouri on Oct 11, 2016.

Photo courtesy of The Rep

The difficulty I had with “Until the Flood” was its brevity (70 minutes – one act) that I didn’t think gave the audience enough material and depth that would have more effectively achieved what Olandersmith was endeavoring to accomplish. That said, “Until the Flood” is a respectable, well-intentioned work that, with a little more expanse and a lot more character, could eventually be as important a work it wants to be.

 

 

 

 

 

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