Review: In The Blood

It’s like how they say you always hurt the ones you love. That is the hinge point of neoliberalism, the place where everything folds in on itself and becomes the perfect package to deliver statements like we couldn’t save everyone. I am getting ahead of myself, but the exposition is more for me, maybe it will be equally for you, depending on how you want to look at it, if you are like me, anyways.

I saw In The Blood staged at The Meadows School of the Arts, a play by Suzan-Lori Parks, directed by Rhonda Blair. The play takes The Scarlet Letter to a modern end, centering on a Hester Pryn, 5 children into her life, fallen on hard times. The play takes race and the economics of the industrial revolution to task, it could be any time in the last hundred years in America, there is no escaping the crisis of living under the hand of the state, a hand blocking out the sun, a hand beating anyone too slow to conform to the machine to death. Suzan-Lori Parks uses language in a lyrical way that blends speech with song and prayer and action. Many of the beautiful moments of In The Blood come from the characters overstanding of the unsaid reality they are all trapped in. The tension of moments of reveal and masking of intentions folding into the backdrop of a city of a million stories. And yet in the midst of so many stories the cruel beauty of In The Blood is that there is no mistaking the modern Hester Pryn as anyone else, bound by the hands of time like fates noose, reflecting reality in the body of a woman that loved. It is a horror that is radical in its feeling that Parks delivers to the stage, a life caught in the rush of emotion like the gears of a grinding wheel.

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