by Nambi E. Kelley
Duke Theater, 42nd Street
Directed by Seret Scott
Composer / sound designer - Frederick Kennedy
Scenic design - Neil patel
Lighting design - Alan Edwards
Costume design - Sarita Fellows
Producer - The Acting Company
From the website of the Acting Company: “In the South Side Chicago of the 1930s, Bigger Thomas struggles to create a place for himself in a world whose prejudice has left him with few opportunities. After taking a job in a wealthy white man's house, he unwittingly unleashes a series of events that violently and irrevocably seal his fate.
Manifesting Bigger's double consciousness through the character of the Black Rat, playwright Nambi Kelley reclaims Richard Wright's
groundbreaking story for a twenty-first century audience.”
This play adaption of Richard Wright's classic novel Native Son is set in 60 scenes over the course of 90 minutes, constantly shifting location and moving back and forth in time. Sound and music played a massive role in this piece, which slowly journeys from a naturalistic perspective to psychological nightmare and horror. Utilizing a blend of live microphone processing, prerecorded voices of the actors, original music, and my own experiments in texture, and in concert with the intricate lighting design of Alan Edwards, I wove together a near-constant soundscape that traced the arc of this character’s journey.