POST: 'Alternating Currents' - may have made the worst decision
What's it about.
A community on edge, Electchester finally touched base with what's going on in the 21st century as opposed to the 1950s, where life was great for residents.
Sooooo.... I came across this show because I was personally invited to see it. The Working Theatre Five Boroughs/One City initiative, who invited me, began out of the desire to engage communities working class people through the act of theatre-making. They had a community forum in Staten Island at Snug Harbor Cultural Center and Botanical Garden, where I happen to intern at. As a way to understand Staten Island as a whole, this forum welcomed people to attend and talk about a borough Staten Islanders love so much but others consider the "forgotten borough". During this forum, they advertised Alternating Currents, in which they aimed to do a couple of shows in every borough for the month of May.
Instead of waiting for the show to come to Staten Island, I went to it in Manhattan.
Even though the term 'Electchester' was being said constantly, but I assumed it was a made up town in New York city. Little did I know it was actually a real area in Queens that was created by unions of electricians and their families. For some reason, I failed to realize it until I was chatting with an audience member. She said she lives right next to Electchester, but only passes by and never really explored the area. That's when a light bulb went off in my head and I had the ah-ha moment.
A young couple Luke and Elena move into a new and improved Electchester, or so they thought. The locals seemed to advertise the area as the perfect place to raise your children, make friends, have meet and greets, and to never worry about crime. Of course for a young couple, it's music to their ears. It sure is to mine, because I would jump at the opportunity to move there if I was married and looking to start a family soon. But I don't necessarily think such a place exist to where there is all of the above and than some. Humans can't control everything that is wrong with the world. But it only made sense for Luke and Elena to move in because they were electricians themselves. Why not surround yourself with people that have the same interests as you in addition to occupation. Match made in heaven.
But soon, they realize they may have made the worst decision.
The idea of togetherness and family became a little too much. Luke and Elena needed to "volunteer" their time to organize bake sales, attend community board meetings, spearhead a fundraiser, and be in charge of a committee. What type of community does that to their residents?! It should be a choice, not a requirement. Elena didn't mind because she felt at home. But Luke ....he didn't feel the same.
Soon the idea of him being black and his wife being white comes into play. Mind you, this is taking place in 21st century New York where there are many interracial couples. But then again, some people don't feel like evolving with the time. To me, love has no color but to many, it does. While Elena was being treated nicely by those in the community, Luke was being treated as if he was a guest or somehow less than his wife. It is hard to understand what another race experiences, if you are not part of that race. Luke expected his wife to agree, but instead she constantly says she sees no wrongdoing. I think that when you get married, you are considered one - no matter what. It's like a ride or die relationship, but Elena was not willing to do that because she put her interest ahead of Luke's.
Eventually, she realizes where her husband was coming from, but it's only after talking to another black Electchester resident. Electchester has changed, and the issue of race has seeped into the neighborhood. A neighborhood I believe has always had an issue with it but keeps it under wraps. I think Elena going after her man after realizing she was at fault is what any wife would do. A relationship - whether it be a marriage or boyfriend/girlfriend requires compromise and understanding, without that it can't survive. Now, I'm not a married woman nor have been in a relationship, but I have observed many before. And even in a town like Electchester, true love always won.
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