Ma Rainey's Black Bottom Analysis

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The 1920s, although famously being known as the roaring ‘20s also was the time period in which many African-Americans faced various types of exploitation in and out of their daily lives. On October 6, 2016 I endured to experience August Wilson’s work of Ma Rainey’s Black Bottom be produced by Center Theatre Group and directed by Tony Award winner Phylicia Rashad. At the Mark Taper Forum, the backing band consisting of Cutler, played by Damon Gupton, Slow Drag the bass player played by Keith David, Toledo the pianist played by Glynn Turman and Levee the trumpet player portrayed by Jason Dirden offer the exploitation they faced as a jazz band during a recording session in a studio owned by white men. The recording studio owned by Mel …show more content…

The lights and the layout of the stage was phenomenal and worked amazingly with the way of the story, from the lights shining onto the band members in the basement to quickly shifting to the recording room where something completely different is occurring whether it's Ma arguing with the policeman or Dussie Mae portrayed by Nija Okoro snooping around the studio. The way the actors and actresses would resume back into their role when the lights shined on them I found extremely incredible. Scenes where everything was quiet and serious were consistent with the lightning of the stage and reaction of the crowd although there were interruptions by the audiences which did make some of the scenes awkward and not taken so serious due to the ruckus. The plot was able to capture the audience's attention really by incorporating different scenes in which the audience goes along with the sayings like the continuous of “1, 2, you know what to do” which the audience began to mimic it. The relieving scene of Sylvester finally being able to overcome his stutter really drew the attention of the audience and the frustrating scene where we find out that the recorder wasn't plugged in and everything would have to be redone does a wonder to gather our

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