Published – 2003
Summary from Goodreads: From Governor General’s Award-winning playwright Djanet Sears comes a beautiful and deeply moving story set in present-day Negro Creek, a 200-year-old Black community. Rainey Baldwin-Johnson, a country doctor, struggles to come to terms with the loss of her daughter, the disintergration of her marriage and an eccentric elderly father on an astonishing crusade.
This was actually a pretty good play. It was very intriguing, and I think that if anyone else wrote this, it probably wouldn’t have been as good. You NEED Djanet Sears for this kind of subject matter because it hits so close to home with her. Beautifuk characterizations, beautiful descriptions…my only thing is that, it’s a play. You miss some of the effect it should actually have because you’re just reading it. You need to go multiple performances (by different directors) to grasp certain aspects of the play.
The main reason why I would have rather seen this than read it is because of this quote that has stuck with me for a while now, ever since I read it:
NO. NO. YOU DON”T UNDERSTAND. TO TOLERATE AND TO ACCEPT ARE TWO COMPLETELY DIFFERENT THINGS. They want to take away this place. Just like they did Juma Moore’s soldier’s jacket. And I won’t let them. Our blood is in this soil. Two years ago there was a rally here. Fifty of us, marching down Negro Creek Road, protesting the town council’s bid to change the name to Moggie Road. They wanted to name it after some white settler who hadn’t lived in this community but a few years. Something about the word “Negro” being politically incorrect. When in truth most white folks call this Nigger Creek.
I mean wow…how powerful is that, right? I would have loved to see the intensity of the actor who would be reading these line of Abendigo (Rainey’s father).
This play is definitely more character driven than plot driven, I find. You may or may not like this…I know some people prefer pplat, but for those of you (including me!) who prefer character, then this would be something you may enjoy. You can look at this play in a historical sense to, because this play deals with issues a Canadian black community has in a white dominant world (the town council, in this play). What strikes me is how relevant this all is, even in 2015. There are still issues of racism going on, and who knows if this similar situation isn’t happening in very racist communities, either here or in America? We don’t know nothing until someone speaks out.
This play is also about motherhood, and the effects of losing a child and how drastically it can change your life. This play is about Rainey’s adventure into accepting her circumstances, and finding herself again.
I give this play a 9/10. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful, is really how I can explain this. If you’re interested in how a character finds herself again, or interested in how authors present racism in books (well plays, in this case!) then I would suggest giving this a read. BUT to get a 10/10 review, I need to see this!
Has anyone read or seen this play? How does it affect your view on it?