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As you know all Beginning Acting students were required to go see the production

by | Mar 4, 2022 | Other

 

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As you know all Beginning Acting students were required to go see the production of Barbecue by Robert O’Hara and directed by guest director Keiana Richard. Please write a 2page reflection, that summarizes the play from your perspective, and make sure to answer the questions in bold below:
As Barbecue opens we see both a white and black version of the O’Mallery family planning a fake barbecue. James T., Lillie Anne, Marie & Adlean plan to lure their sister Barbara (aka zippity boom) to the park to confront her drug and alcohol addiction and have her commit to go to rehab. Drug & alcohol abuse is a heavy topic; Did this storyline remind you of any of your own family members or friends who have struggled with addiction? If so how did your experience compare to the characters in the play?
The changeover from the white to black family is something close to a strike of lightning – like a psychological experiment to test our unconscious biases and inhibitions. Would we have thought differently about this trash-talking, low class family if they had started out black rather than white? Do you think the playwright did this on purpose?
In the second act of “Barbecue” time has passed, Barbara has gone to rehab and wrote a memoire of her life story. She is then approached by a singer-actress about turning her memoire into a million dollar movie. Do you think America has a fascination with turning self-destruction into entertainment? Is the comedy found watching others fail or is self-destruction a topic we can all relate on?
The dark joke here, as we eventually learn, is that each sibling is just as much in need of an intervention – James T. drinks heavily & smokes weed, Marie carries around a bottle of Jack Daniels and has crack in her purse, Aldean is addicted to opiods and chain-smokes cigarettes and Lillie Anne is very controlling and judgemental over her siblings. Barbara makes them all agree to also go to rehab if they want a $200k cut of the movie deal. Is this a fair compromise? Do you believe Barbara was seeking revenge on her siblings or could they all use a little therapy and rehab?
The deal is finally signed, the film executive just wants to make a couple of changes… she switches Barbara’s addiction from meth to crack then says “oh by the way we’re making your whole family black”. This segment personally brought up so many thoughts and feelings for me. Did you notice this part? How did it make you feel? What are some other examples of how mainstream media and television (in today’s society) frame blacks or other minorities?
In the end, the memoire is made into a movie and the actors win an Oscar. The play ends with music, beautiful gowns and an applause for each member of the cast. What are your overall thoughts on the play? Did you enjoy it? Were there parts that frustrated you or were hard to watch? Did it make you laugh? 🙂
The link added may not work however you should be able to find free versions of the play online if not you can use what my professor provided above. thank you

 

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