sealPurdue News

February 21, 2003

Black Cultural Center sponsors plays dealing with brutality

WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. – Two one-act plays, which explore injustice and brutality, will be presented during the Black Cultural Center's Coffee House on March 4-6.

The theatrical troupe New Directional Players will present both plays at 7 p.m. each evening at the BCC. The first play, "Motherhood 2000" by Adrienne Kennedy, explores a mother's quest for justice after witnessing the brutal beating of her son after he is stopped for a malfunctioning taillight. The second play, "Sunday Morning in the South" by Georgia Douglas Johnson, examines the South of old. It features a South where a family can be sitting at the breakfast table one moment, making plans to attend church, only to have the police knock on their door and accuse a family member of a crime.

BCC artist-in-residence Bill Caise says the plays should evoke strong emotions.

"Both pieces explore a hard topic – lynching and brutality," Caise says. "Lynching has played a significant role in the history of the African-American, yet it is rarely discussed in 'polite company,' so with these plays we are discussing it. We are looking at a time in history where it was not uncommon for an African-American to be taken into custody by police only to be later found a part of the orchard that Billie Holiday sang about in 'Strange Fruit.'"

Caise says the New Directional Players intend their performance to be educational, not confrontational.

"The goal isn't to point fingers but to put up two exciting shows – shows that deal with a hard subject, shows that are provocative, shows that hopefully will create a desire for dialogue and growth."

Admission to each performance is $3 for Purdue students and $5 for the public.

CONTACT: Bill Caise, (765) 494-4630,; Renee Thomas, BCC director, (765) 494-3091,

Purdue News Service: (765) 494-2096;

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