NOTE: This play contains nudity, sexual content, sexual violence, and racially violent language.
Jeremy O. Harris' acclaimed drama Slave Play transfers to Broadway in fall 2019, following a celebrated run at New York Theatre Workshop from November 19, 2018 through January 13, 2019. Robert O'Hara once again directs the production, which plays a limited 17-week engagement at the Golden Theatre.
Already showered with awards, including the Rosa Parks Playwriting Award, the Lorraine Hansberry Playwriting Award, The Lotos Foundation Prize in the Arts and Sciences and the 2018 Paula Vogel Award, Slave Play is as expertly written as it is hard-hitting. Divided into three acts, the play is both provocative and transgressive as it explores universal themes of attraction, relationships and race through the lens of four couples.
In Act I, entitled “Work,” we are transported back in time to the MacGregor Plantation, a few miles south of Richmond Virginia, as we encounter three couples’ interactions at work. Sexuality and exploitation collide in the staggering opening Act.
Act II, “Process,” takes the form of a modern day therapy session in which couples openly discuss the struggles of maintaining mutual satisfaction in their relationships. This Act also introduces same-sex relationships, fetishism and role-play (including the negative role that race can play in sexual fantasies).
Finally, Act III, “Exorcise,” tries to draw something of a conclusion on how our collective past manifests itself today in the way we view each other as potential sexual partners.
Not one for the faint-hearted, Slave Play is as risqué and as arousing as they come and ventures well outside the walls of traditional Broadway-accustomed comfort, so if you enjoy your theatre as tantalizing as it is thought-provoking, then this modern masterpiece by Jeremy O. Harris might be just what you’re looking for.
(Photos by Matthew Murphy)