The Great Standstill Moves the Heart
Contemporary American life has always been prime material for artists; modern-day New York City, cliché though it be, has provided playwright Kia Corthron a canvas for quite the original drama. In the midst of the hallmarks of racial profiling, “Stop and Frisk” and incarceration of African-American males far exceeding their share of the general population, the play sets its sights on the criminality of the “Prison Industrial Complex” that is the U. S. prison system.
With enough responsibility to go around, Corthron courageously steps out of the typical pseudo-liberal box of politics and brings the audience face-to-face with the carnage of the War on Drugs and the haggard results of prison reform of the last three decades. Culpability is placed upon the sacred altars of Republicans and Democrats as the life of Tray is laid out. Freedom and imprisonment are tricky terms and MEGASTASIS seamlessly moves between the two and shows how much they can be similar, even as our minds demand they are antithetical.
With Every Stop, there is a Chance for a Restart
A grandfather’s story serves as a foundation for the main character. The life of his baby becomes the symbol of hope even in the midst of institutionalized despair for him and the child’s mother. The dialogue centering on her as a parent’s focus of dreaming is uplifting, and by the end of the play, the child’s significance as Symbol shines clearly.
Eclipse Theatre Gives It to Us Raw
MEGASTASIS is raw, visceral and very real. For those who are up for realism in all its ugliness, knowledge in all its grey, and hope in all its guises, this play will be a favorite.
Note: This is now added to the Picture this Post round up of BEST PLAYS IN CHICAGO. Click here to read — Top Picks for Theater in Chicago NOW – Chicago Plays PICTURE THIS POST Loves.
Thru Sunday, August 20th.
The Athenaeum Theatre
3rd Floor Stage
2936 N. Southport Ave.