Image by Joits via FlickrOh, dear. Controversy in Olympia!
Yes, the new play "Nigger Wetback Chink: The Race Play" is raising a little politically correct ire and concern ("Is it okay to say these words as the title of a play?" "Is it okay for a play skewering racial stereotypes to use such terms?"). And it's therefore getting a load of free publicity.
In an interview this afternoon on KAOS radio, actors Miles Gregley, Rafael Agustin, and Allan Axibal insisted that their point was not to exacerbate racial tensions or divisions, but to drive home that there is only ONE race, the human race. "The show traces the origins and evolution of three derogatory terms that shaped our lives In doing this show we hope to de-power these words for ourselves and for our audiences. Oh yeah, and we hope you laugh your ass off, too.”
As someone who has participated in Study Circles on Race, I can only applaud the conversations that the play's title has started in the community. Though I'm still not going to be making these terms a regular part of my vocabulary.
The play is in Olympia just one night, Wednesday Nov. 9, at the Washington Center for the Performing Arts.
On Tuesday Nov. 8 from 7:30-9 p.m. the actors are holding a free workshop entitled "It Can't Be Done: Performing Material that Wasn't Meant to be Performed," also at The Washington Center. For more information, visit www.washingtoncenter.org or the play's website at www.speaktheaterarts.com