14 September 2015

"Brownie Points"

After a delicious dinner with friends at Pulcinella Italian Restaurant we went to watch the first production of the 2015-2016 season Regent University theater. Regent's is only the fourth production of "Brownie Points" by Janece Shaffer. In other words, very few who are reading this post has seen it.

Five mothers of girls in Brownie troop hosted based at an exclusive private school in Atlanta are trapped at a cabin in the woods when a severe storm knocks down a tree that blocks their only way out. Three white women, one of whom is Jewish, and two African-American moms are thus forced to confront issues of race, class, wealth, marriage (and divorce), and parenthood. The show runs 85 minutes without an intermission.

I thought the first half was excessively didactic if not preachy. The depth of the characters became more evident in the second half. We were especially pleased to have stayed after the show was over to hear not only from the cast and director but also from the playwright herself. Their discussion of the motivations of characters and the "original intent" of the playwright added a great deal to our appreciation.

Brownie Points will be showing next weekend and I would encourage folks in Tidewater to take it in.

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