The Black Slot | Raven Theatre | Theater & Performance | Chicago Reader
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click to enlarge Brittany Stock and Justin Wade Wilson

Brittany Stock and Justin Wade Wilson

Emily Schwartz

When: Thursdays-Sundays. Continues through Oct. 2 2016
Price: $25
astonrep.com
Billed as a satire about racial politics in the American regional theater, Warren Hoffman’s world premiere is a story of inequities, from microaggressions to tokenism. It’s a smart focus for the typical white, liberal theatergoer; there’s an attempt at metaexploration here, as the characters bemoan the predominance of white plays (which is pretty much what this is). There is one black character, Tim (Justin Wade Wilson), a promising playwright who interned with August Wilson. Unfortunately, Tim reveals himself as less honorable than the well-intentioned but ineffective white liberal dramaturg Beth (the charming Brittany Stock). This later plot point seems distracting at best; at worst, Hoffman has written himself into the trap he’s endeavoring to expose. I applaud AstonRep for offering a new voice (another rejection of theater’s conservativism) and hope to see more from Hoffman, but this production wasn’t ready—however much the characters dismiss the endless readings and workshops required to successfully stage new plays, The Black Slot needed more time in development. —Suzanne Scanlon

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