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Angels Leaving

March 14, 2017

 

It certainly doesn't feel like a play that could be produced today without a tangle of issues but I recently read Vieux Carré by Tennessee Williams. There's the huge cast (of 10 characters) and the demand for a specific space. The story bounces from boarding house room to room with an upstairs. And while some of this could be address with some creativity from the production team, but something I can't figure out is the character of Nursie. The problem of Nursie, the African American maid is how does a modern day production address her? Does, what comes across as a racist character, in the show stay as a part of the story or does it get cut?

I think if *I* were to direct the show today, I'd like to see what sort of recourse there is in making script adjustments. I don't feel comfortable producing the show as is, there is no reason to further a stereotype just because the writer felt it was a part of the time period. Or do I consciously cast other roles with actors as color and does that water down and distract from the problem character? It is a real struggle and while the show isn't incredible it has some beautiful poetry and interesting dialogues. 

 

One quote I love from the play:

 

"I guess angels warn you to leave a place by leaving before you"

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