Tuesday, June 05, 2012

My Children! My Africa!

If My Children! My Africa! occasionally falls prey to schooling us, it is at least at the hands of the very gifted James A. Williams, and it is at least motivated by the relateable frustrations of his character, Mr. M., who fears what will happen to his country when the youth finally rebel against the inequalities of Apartheid (the play takes place in the autumn of 1984). Clear passions and heartbreaks drive these lessons, as Mr. M. attempts to take two disparate debate students -- his would-be prodigy, the roiling Thami (Stephen Tyrone Williams), and the bright and affable (and white) Isabel (Allie Gallerani) -- and show them that there can be a non-violent path to unity. Fugard has the master playwright's ability to empathize with all of his characters, but given his subject matter, it's easy to assume that he writes to instruct because he truly believes that ignorance is the true root of evil: so it's important that we listen and learn, so that we might move forward together.

[Read full review here]

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