The newest inductees to the TeenTix Press Corps saw Intiman's Trouble in Mind last week. Here are a few bits of their thoughts about the show.
"One question I'm always asking myself as a writer: “how can I write a story that's entertaining, done well, and also spreading an important social message?” Alice Childress' 1950's play about a theatre company and the racial tensions that soon arise within seems to do that which I strive for, effortlessly."
"Trouble in Mind is not a ‘feel-good’ play. The ending is bittersweet, with Wiletta (Hughes) finally refusing to feign ignorance any longer and confronting Al Manners about his prejudice. Her monologue during the confrontation is chilling and passionate, but the play ties up with her realizing that although she has braved standing up for herself and her fellow African American cast, by doing so she risked sacrificed her job and livelihood. It’s a poignant, moving production that will help you reflect on the racism that is still present and felt every day in Seattle, the USA, and the whole world. Make me a solid promise. Start thinking."
"Tracy Michelle Hughes portrays Wiletta with a sort of lightning-in-a-bottle intensity that demands to be appreciated."
"Even though the play itself was written more than 50 years ago, it resonates with a chilling relevance, especially in the wake of Trayvon Martin’s death. Another line from Wiletta, “Shootin’ and kissin’ that’s all you know… how big is your bust and murder, murder, murder” describes 99% of cable television with eerie accuracy."
"Alice Childress, some form of former playwright genius, hands us an onion and asks us to either laugh at it or pick it apart. If you’re like me, you’ll do both because with this piece both seem to come quite naturally. I’m talking layers upon layers, here. First comes the humor, quick and easy, just how many of us like it...Each character wants to take a crack at your funny bone, and then at your intellect as you sink into the play's multitude of underlying truths: circumstantial truths, subjective truths, justifiable truths, and truths that deserve much more acknowledgment."
Trouble in Mind
Intiman Theatre Festival
Through September 15
More info at intiman.org