Friday 11 July 2014

Day 8: Miss Evers' Boys in South Africa x Grahamstown National Arts Festival 2014

“Miss Evers’ Boys is a fictional play rooted in an unfortunate truth. For decades the United States government sponsored a study in which 600 African-Americans sharecroppers in Tuskegee, Alabama, were examined under the agreement that if a cure for syphilis were discovered they would be first in line for the treatment.“ – From here on Google is your friend, so do some desktop research on this to find out more information.

Miss Evers Boys theatre production made its debut here at Grahamstown National Arts Festival last night under the student theatre festival category. The piece is presented by the University of Oklahoma; Peggy Dow Helmerich School of Drama. Sponsored by the OU Arts District and starring Christian Black, Joshua Bonzie, Blake Henri, Kamron McClure, De’onna Prince, Basit Shittu and Michael Turrentine,

It took half a minute for my brain to start digesting and processing the deep down south accent and dialect but once my brain’s processing system was fully functioning we were good to go.

A beautifully delivered play that deals with; the racial injustice, aspiration, compassion, passion and talent; hormonal-labourers, hot-blood-high-blood and medical ethics. There was a young lady in the audience seating on the front row. Who got deeply touched by the spinal tap without anaesthesia scene to the point where she suffered some kind of an emotional fits attack. Yeap, shit got real and as you know, it is showbiz the show went on seamlessly.

Speaking of which, another stunning theatre piece I managed to see was HeLa, which also tackled the genre of medical ethics. HeLa is written and performed by Adura Onashile. A play inspired by the novel “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks’ written by Rebecca Skloot.  Go buy the book or research and read up on the story of Henrietta Lacks and the drama surrounding the HeLa cell line.   There is a chance you will be kinda DISGUSTED if not straight up DISGUSTED and PISSED OFF.

Mazel, brilliant and all; but for me it was those high waisted, flared legs pants that stole the show for me. I need in my life! I had a strong urge to bolt backstage after the curtain call and snatch them off the actor. But I had to remind myself that, BITCH this aint no Fashion Week, Calm Down. 

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