blackbirdonline journalFall 2015  Vol. 14 No. 2

Actor’s Notes
James Ijames

Taysha Canales and Cathy Simpson. Photo by Johanna Austin.
 Taysha Canales and Cathy Simpson. Photo by Johanna Austin.

I had the great pleasure of working on Slip/Shot by Jackie Goldfinger during the PlayPenn New Play Development Conference in 2011; I played the role of Monroe in the stage reading. I was struck by how timely Slip/Shot was and how we were forced to take stock of the fallout stemming from the event at the heart of the play. The issues the play grapples with are issues that I think about and consider on a daily basis; plays are memories that happen over and over again in public, and Slip/Shot is no different. There is a meta-nature to producing a play as topical as Slip/Shot. I saw the world premiere of the play at Flashpoint Theatre in Philadelphia, and I remember thinking how daunting it must be for the performer playing Monroe to die so violently each night and then leave the theatre with, potentially, that same fear walking home. I think that a theater choosing to do a play with this effect creates a kind of epic memory for the community around the theater. And, of course, the play was being produced in the very early days of the Black Lives Matters movement, before it had a name. It is a beautifully troubling play that, though it deals with a historical moment, feels very present and urgent.  end of text

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