The Red And Brown Water

1004 Words5 Pages
Theatre as a unique, live art form does not only consist of theatrical performances that tell stories, but are significant as to how they cover certain topics that portray issues within the world. Because of this, theatre is an art form that can be used as a platform to discuss and bring awareness to issues that affect one’s community. The play, In the Red and Brown Water by Tarell Alvin Mccraney follows the upcoming of age story of Oya, a young African-American woman, that struggles to find her true self and identity within the projects of San Pere, Louisiana. With the presence of Yoruban tradition, In the Red and Brown Water explores the themes of poverty and racial injustices among minorities through the distinctive use of design clues, actor presentation, and scenic features. In In the Red and Brown Water, design clues are strategically used to portray the internal struggle that Onya faces towards making decisions of right as she aims to please her loved ones. A predominant feature within this theatrical element is the incorporation of lyrical movement within the acting scenes. A group of lyrical dancers move in and out within the scenes and are used as a foreshadowing method to emphasize situations that hold a current or upcoming significance to the overall theme of the play. For example, in the beginning of the play, the dancers along with Onya are represented through an apparent dream that Elgeba, Onya’s young neighbor, has about Onya being swept away by the currents of the water. The dancers impressively portrayed this concept as the silent waves that were holding Onya up and taking her away. This foreshadowing dream shows Onya’s ultimate destiny and fall from her increasing hardships. Also, the humming and singing from... ... middle of paper ... except the porch of the house, the simplicity of the scenic features allows for the emphasis of the underlying issues of poverty and racial discrimination. Ultimately, the use of design clues, actor representation, and scenic features establish and create a platform for the important themes of in In the Red and Brown Water that are meant to be unmasked and brought attention to. Through the various theatrical elements that are incorporated within the play, the audiences gains a stronger understand as to how each element plays into the overall success of the play, as well as a personal insight to issues that the characters face that continue to be apparent in today’s society. This play magnificently uses the art of theatre to bring attention to the issues of poverty and racial injustices through the coming of age story of Onya as a young, African-American woman.
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