Evelyn @ 'White Noise' - EVERYONE NEEDS A THERAPIST!
What’s it about?
Drastic measures mean drastic changes in how you view the world and even your closest friends.
I bought my ticket because, at every turn, this show kept getting sold out. So as soon as I saw that one ticket was available, I purchased it on the spot. I had been intrigued ever since the Public announced its 2018-2019 season, not only because one of my favorite artists, Daveed Diggs, was in the show, but also because it appeared that it was going to be focused on social commentary. I was thrilled. I’m a sucker for any show that questions my worldview. After all, what is art if it doesn’t affect you?
I went into the show blind, only knowing the title and that it was a story about four friends. I deduced that the title had to be some kind of a play on words. On the one hand, it could refer to the actual noise that some people use to sleep, and on the other, it could refer to white people and what they say, as in a white narrative. Along that same line of thinking, I was imagining a plot where there would be a form of conflict, either from the police or a white supremacist incident, and then the friends would react. What I did not expect was how drastic and uncomfortable the inciting incident would be.
I won’t spoil what it is or what happens because of it because experiencing it live was one of the most uncomfortable things I’ve ever had to sit through—and that, of course, was the point. It felt like a combination of Blindspotting directed by Carlos López Estrada (which also stars Daveed Diggs) and “Say Yes” by Tobias Wolff. Both pieces dealt with incidents containing layers upon layers of complicated and nuanced issues, especially on the topic of race. This play was no exception.
I loved the fact that it explained very complicated social matters in a much more broken down yet nuanced way, and it had me at the edge of my seat the entire time. I loved how everything was so layered, almost to the point where you had to question what was actually going on. But the entire time I was there I was stressed. If you could have seen my face all you would have seen was: 😬. My heart raced and I wanted to curl into my seat and become one with it. I clenched by jaw and was captivated by each action, watching scene after scene in tense distress. I had my head in my hands for almost the entire duration of the show.
I wanted to just shout at the top of my lungs: “WHAT IS HAPPENING? THIS IS NOT OKAY! NO ONE IS OKAY! EVERYONE NEEDS A THERAPIST!”
I looked around the theatre and saw a sea of almost all white faces and I wondered, are they getting this? I really hope this isn’t just flying over their heads. Even after I walked out of the theatre I couldn’t shake the feeling of uneasiness the show had given me. I kept thinking about it. Literally, this show is so heavy. You're presented with so many puzzle pieces right from the start and when everything clicks, it's like the click of a loaded pistol aimed right at your conscience and morality. Shows like this are the ones that help us improve ourselves as a group of people, especially in a world that proclaims a facade of equality.
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