Through the Blue Door

From Joanna Horowitz, Communications Department

Tuesday we had the meet-and-greet for the next show we're opening in the Leo K, Blue Door. The staff consensus was that this might have been one of our best meet-and-greets ever. Coming off two weeks of rehearsal in New York, the cast of two (Reg E. Cathey and Hubert Point-Du Jour) and director Leigh Silverman seem really relaxed and comfortable with each other. So much so, that Leigh shared the funny story of how she cast Hubert. Apparently she was really determined to cast an older, experienced actor in Hubert's part, which requires him to play over 20 characters or different ages, races and genders. But the rather young Hubert (I'm still trying to dig up his age) just floored them during the audition. So much that as soon as he left, they called him right away and asked him to come back in (he had gotten as far as the bathroom), where Leigh drilled him with questions like "are you SURE you can handle this?" Hubert was sure. You might have seen the other half of the cast, Reg, on the TV show The Wire where he plays Norman Wilson. Leigh made sure we all knew TV Guide had declared that the E of his middle name must stand for Excellent.

All backpatting aside, I think this show is going to be really cool. I've been entrenched in creating the lobby display (when you come to the show, look for the big posters in the Rotunda and imagine me hard at work at my computer), and have gotten to do a lot of research on the show, playwright Tanya Barfield, and some of the show's themes. Blue Door is about an insomniac mathematics professor who is confronted by his ancestors during a sleepless night. Their stories about slavery, Black Power and academia get him thinking about what it means to be black, especially a black man. The interesting thing about this show? It was written by a black woman and directed by a white woman. I think that's just a testament to this play's ability to speak to everyone. I mean, we all have ancestors. We all have stories. We're all searching for something.

The play deals a lot with the issues of double conciousness: how the main character Lewis views himself as a black man versus how others view him. Everyone has a sense of double conciousness, I think. I do being half Jewish. I'm also a small town girl in a big city, which gives me another sort of duality. I'd be interested to know what other kinds of double conciouness exist. Thoughts?

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