The Department of Theatre will perform “American Son,” a play about systematic racism in America, for the public Saturday night.
“At the time of selection, obviously, we had no idea that COVID was going to hit and that systemic racism would be so exposed in the way that it was in 2020; none of us could have predicted that. I think only God was the one who got to hold all the cards and was aware that that was coming. But I felt like 2020 just kind of highlighted something that’s always been there,” said Vincson Green II, guest director of “American Son.” “And to me, that’s what “American Son is about. American Son is about exposing how the American system of racism destroys the American family.”
“American Son” started as a Broadway production, which was adapted into a Netflix special in 2019. The play opens with Kendra, a mother who is concerned for her teenaged son who has not returned home. The story follows the mother as she goes to the police station to try and determine where her son is and why the police aren’t looking for him.
“It’s told through the lens of Kendra, specifically through a black woman who’s normally seen as the lowest on the kind of social hierarchy,” said Green. “It’s a really incredibly moving piece essentially about an interracial couple whose son goes missing in the night. The mother calls the police station and they tell her that her son has been involved in an incident and that’s all they really say. And so she goes to the police station looking for her son. And that’s where our play starts with Kendra.”
The play was put on this week for the freshman Cornerstone classes before being introduced to the public.
“What is so incredible about freshmen having an opportunity to witness this is that they now have the tools or at least the beginning to start this groundwork process of assessing ‘how do I look at the Bible and how do I find what Jesus is saying about Black Lives Matter, what Jesus is saying about white supremacy, or what Jesus is saying about systemic racism?'” said Green.
The play will be featured at the Abilene Convention Center on Saturday at 7:30 pm. Tickets are $18. The theatre department warns,”The play contains strong language, adult and controversial themes. Suitable for ages 16 and older.”
“I would say to go see “American Son”, because when I look at Jesus, I see a person who is fully God, fully man, who was very informed as to what the problems of his day were,” Green said. “By going to see “American Son”, you’re going to get a good grasp as to what the problems of our day are. And as Christ followers, we now get to witness that show. Deal with it, pray through it, pray afterward, seek God’s face; you’re surrounded by professors and students who are open, Christian and not Christian as well, who are open and willing to have this conversation.”