Blood at the Root | The Frontier | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Victor Musoni

Victor Musoni

Evan Hanover

When: Fridays-Sundays. Continues through April 29 2017
Price: $20, $10 students
Dominique Morrisseau’s play inspired by the Jena Six case, in which six black teenagers were initially charged with attempted murder in the beating of a white classmate after nooses were hung from a tree on campus in their small, mostly white Louisiana town, is given a furious and urgent staging by the Yard and Jackalope Theatre Company. From the moment the audience enters through a metal detector to take their seats before the classroom/football field/school hallway set, the tension is palpable, and it doesn’t let up until the show’s end. The cast, composed entirely of current and recent high-schoolers, talk, sing, rap, and dance their message with a passion impossible to ignore. Blood at the Root vividly illustrates the near impossibility of getting through one’s teenage years—fraught in the best-case scenario—unscathed when also having to tackle larger societal problems. It's a necessary and evocative production all-around. —Dmitry Samarov

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