We. The collective us. Altogether human. Not altogether equal.
In experience…or inheritance.
Pipeline, written by Dominique Morisseau & directed by Steve H. Broadnax III, on stage at Actor’s Theatre of Louisville through February 2nd, invites audiences into a story of perspective to gain a glimpse at the truths of an issue impacting us all…the school to prison pipeline.
While the United States represents just 5% of the world’s population, over 25% of incarcerated individuals are in our penal system. A drastically disproportionate number of these individuals are men of color.
Before you jump to the assumption that all people in prison belong there, step back from that thought & consider the precursors that plant a life on that path.
Pipeline creates an encounter with a situation that many of us would not consider potentially life-altering, but that others view as disastrous from the start.
Patrese D. McClain brings to life the character of Nya, a passionate single mother & English teacher navigating the infinitely complex task of raising a young man in a world that tries to define him before he has even grasped defining himself. Her pain is genuine, her desperation devastating.
The entire show, in fact, was defined by the word devastating for me.
You think you know about something in a factual capacity. You think because you had a friend whose cousin went through something similar that you understand what impact it has on a family. That reading about it & watching a special on CNN makes it real.
Pipeline forces confrontation with uncomfortable issues & dares to expose the difference in simple experiences based on race.
Cecil Blutcher’s portrayal of Omari, Nya’s son & focal point of the narrative, is transcendent. Whether you relate to him personally or not, you will hate the way he hurts, feel the power of his anger, & long to relieve it.
Everyone needs to see this show.
To find your place in the story. To feel what is out of joint in the system. To contemplate what we must change to ensure a future different from the present in positive ways.
To recognize that WE have work to do.
Make plans to see Pipeline while you can. Be changed & find a way to change the spaces you have the ability to influence for good.