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Andrew Jackson ate my Homework: a Racial Farce

October 21st, 2011 Leave a comment Go to comments

Staged Reading at CPT

Had the staged reading of my play last night at CPT. It went very well and I truly appreciate the thought and artistry that Cassie Neumann put into the directing of the piece as she added the appropriate level of energy and “over-the-top”-ness to the piece.

Andrew Jackson

Andrew Jackson

Audience Feedback

There was an audience feedback session afterwards during which some things of interest were stated. I found it interesting that some people did not get the intentionally reflexive nature of the commentary on dominant cultural attitudes represented by certain “white” characters shooting off their mouths. I know that’s a rather convoluted thought, but it’s a long way of saying: “when a man says something stupid, it’s often more a reflection of him than the person/people he’s talking about”–hence the farce.

Writing it

The notion of the racial element appeared as an undercurrent in the piece, which is to say that I didn’t write it intentionally as a piece on race. So, when it came time for several people to point out that I only “picked” on certain races–or gender orientations–this is to say that I didn’t intend to pick on any race/orientation when I wrote it. As well, after I read and edited it several times, I resisted the temptation to “balance it” as I felt that I would be forcing the piece to be about race, which wasn’t my intent, and further, that by “balancing it” I would be making it fake. Another comment that I found interesting is that given the abrasive nature of the topics and language throughout, that at a certain point one audience member, or several, simply became numb to it. That they were de-sensitized, which is fascinating in and of itself.


Raymond offered some interesting thoughts in the post, post discussion, including that I increase the number of bus scenes and make the play about bus scenes, which I might do. I might actually make more than one play out of it, as I also like the mix of genres when the historical characters and musical pieces are mixed in–which makes it more farcical to my mind. I’ll have to go back and check my Brecht to see how to design the piece, wholly, to be more effective in it’s direction toward audience response and to examine or evolve a through-line.


The actors were great and I truly appreciate the time each put into the play as well, again, as Cassie, who did marvelously for a piece that received three rehearsals and then hit the stage.

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