Written by Patrick Chavis
During this pandemic, the theater has been hit as hard as any industry during this horrific time. But theater and the people that make it are also resilient, and it’s a medium built on creativity and making the impossible possible. At least, I like to think so. Inspired by the Black Lives Matter movement and the horrendous killing of George Floyd, Chapman students filmed and wrote an almost 2-hour production of shorts named EQUalITY. The film covers racial inequality topics, specifically highlighting the black community’s struggles with racism and other historical injustices. The play also covers the struggles of other marginalized groups using different mediums — spoken word, skits, and interviews — that cover the topics of equality and racial justice.
For a project, inspired by a very specific movement where the central focus is highlighting the issues of black people, specifically in America, where the movement is saying can we focus on “only” these issues at the moment because they are being overlooked, this well-intentioned effort is very broad in its approach. It covers injustices across the board (Asian, LGBTQ, women, etc.), which is in a way antithetical to the movement they use as the inspiration for this work. After watching EQUallty, I feel it would have been a more effective endeavor if it were split into more focused, episodic parts than this overlong production that doesn’t flow cohesively into one narrative.
For a production done by a university, the production quality and green screen work have the look of something shot at home in your bedroom. Where’s the collaboration between the film school and the theatre department?
Even though the production quality is lacking, it does provide a platform for these 18 college students to speak their minds. Watching this production could lead to an informative dialogue.
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The show runs from February 15, 2021, at 12:00 p.m. through Sunday, March 7, 2021, at 11:59 p.m.
The cost to stream this production is $10 at the link below :