I just went to see this exquisite play at Crowded Fire Theater in San Francisco.
It is too rare – on a stage to see a play where brown folks are telling stories about what it’s like to be brown and hunted, brown and haunted, brown and broken, brown and enraged, brown and innocent, brown and violent, brown and blending in as best we can so as to stay alive, broken, bucking, aching, hungry, hopeless, loving, holding on.
This play depicts a kind of mental fragmentation the likes of which I have felt so often over the last few years as I have been walking the streets feeling haunted, vulnerable, as I see sirens and feel the threat in my body of being one of the hunted and wonder: “Will a cop pin me down and kneel on top of me while I am at the swimming pool? Will I be forced out of the bar or the train because I laugh too loud? Will I be Sandra Bland today? Will my everyday ordinary composure crack in the face of the next fucked up thing and will I do some kind of extraordinary violence?”
Or will it be my friend or my cousin or my client or my colleague or my neighbor? Harassed or abused or shot in the street before there was time for explanation or translation. Or all out of fucks to give, exploding into violence, tired of the tyranny of racism, tired of turning the other cheek, tired of twisting into pretzel shapes in order to appear harmless and nonthreatening to white people, to the police, to the power structure.
Will it be someone Black, someone brown, someone trans, someone with a disability, someone who doesn’t speak English (Rest in Power, Luis Gongora), someone who speaks several languages of which English is only one, someone Mexican, someone with Middle Eastern features, someone Muslim. We, the hunted, are haunted. Is today the day I die or lose my mind or lose my composure?
I am grateful to see the truth of this kind of experience represented in this way.
You’re lucky: The play has a week left and tickets are still available.