Thursday, March 10, 2016

Hero Doesn't Live Up To His Name

In Suzan-Lori Parks play "Father Comes Home From the Wars (Parts: 1, 2 and 3)," director Sydney Horton introduces us to a group of slaves pulling each other in different directions. One group wants to run for freedom, another slave knows the price of getting caught and a third is faces the choice of serving his master in the Civil War or staying on the plantation.

The play centers on Hero, the slave who can either serve his master in the war or remain a fieldhand on the plantation. It examines themes of loyalty between a slave and his master as well between slaves themselves.

The play drew me in quicly, as I tried to determine what I would do in the various scenarios presented throughout the play. Do I go to war or stay on the plantation? Do I risk running for freedom?

It is the lack of fidelity between the slaves, especially Hero, that stuck with me the most during the two-hour and forty-five minute play. There are two 10-minute intermissions and the play moves quickly.

The acting is solid. Horton takes some creative license in set and costuming. He seemed to alternate between period attire of the slavery era and modern times. Actors wore Converse tennis shoes, one wore headphones and there was a Starbucks cup on the front porch. The modern accouterments seemed out of place, but didn't detract from the overall quality of the production.

This is the last weekend of the play's run at Actor's Theatre of Charlotte, and the play is worth seeing.

Tonight's 7:30 p.m. show includes a Talk Back. Other times are Friday and Saturday at 8 p.m.