Moravian First Year Seminars in NYC
Thursday, September 22, 2011
A Healing Journey
The day was September 18th, 2011...And we were on our way to Brooklyn.
That's right, there's no show on Broadway this time, but a humble performance in the sanctuary of the St. Paul Community Baptist Church. The drive into the city was smooth, and we all enjoyed a free dinner on the bus. The performance was set for the evening, we were seated into the pews by 7pm. "The Maafa Suite, A Healing Journey" is the church's production this year, and it focuses on the history of African Americans. The show followed a brief church service and communion which is a little experience in and of itself because I've never been to a Baptist church before.
The show starts, and we are pulled into the tribal world of Africa. I loved the opening for many reasons. The costumes were vibrant, for one. The dancing was energetic, wild, and passionate--you almost want to join right in the celebration. Lastly, the tribal drums, which thankfully remained the focus of the music throughout the play, were on-point and as emotional as the actors themselves.
The transition from the African Motherland to the capture and voyage to America was heart wrenching. The physical abuse and emotional devastation were well portrayed.
Towards the end of the first Act, the play seemed to drag a little. There were multiple stories that were being played out; but some of the transitions could have used a little work. The technical errors were also distracting and frequent enough that I feel like some important lines were missed.
The stories were written pretty well and were certainly eye-opening and moving. Pride radiated from the cast. For part of the Finale, the entire cast (must have been 100+ people) were clothed in white. They filled all of the isles and the stage and were dancing and singing, it was beautiful.
Overall, the show was a pretty nice experience. For next time I think it could be a little more condensed (4 hours sitting in the back can be a little tough) but we made it through and learned quite a history lesson!
Posted by Emilie Bortz at 1:46 PM