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Theatre in the X is taking on ‘the current state of the Black community’

"Love, Queens who Suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder." August 16, 2016 Category: EventFeaturePurposeShort
What is it to be a Black play? According to “New Black Math,” a Black play is “by the people, for the people.” It is “deep.” And it “bows to God.”

For the third year, Theatre in the X is presenting free theatre in Malcolm X Park while offering acting opportunities for theatre professionals of color — beyond North Philly’s Freedom Theatre, “there isn’t really anything dedicated to actors of color,” said LaNeshe Miller-White, who cofounded the group with Carlo Campbell and Walter DeShields in 2013.

This season, the cofounders each selected one of three featured plays. Miller-White chose “Love, Queens who Suffer from Post-traumatic Stress Disorder by Jamila Capitman and Heather Thomas, an ensemble piece about resilience in the Black female community.

Theatre X 3

“New Black Math.” (Photo by Julie Zeglen)

“I thought it would be a great time to bring ‘Love, Queens’ back, especially in this current climate of police brutality and crime,” she said. “It’s unfortunate that it’s still relevant, if not more relevant now.” 

The Meeting” by Jeff Stetson imagines an encounter between Malcolm X and Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., while “New Black Math” by Suzan-Lori Parks examines, of course, what a Black play “is.”

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Together, “it’s all about talking about the current state of the Black community, where we’ve come from and where we’re going,” Miller-White said. “All three are pulling from history and contemplating the best way to go and envisioning what a great future would look like.”

It’s in Theatre in the X’s DNA to be as accessible as possible. It’s about meeting the Black community where is is — especially those who aren’t necessarily theatre goers, and children who aren’t exposed to the performing arts in schools, Miller-White said.

“We wanted to take away the boundaries,” she said. 

Theatre in the X’s final performance is this Sunday, Aug. 21, in Malcolm X Park. Find more information here.

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