Rousuck's Review: "Rachel," A 1916 Race Play Update, Still Rings True
It's time again for Midday theater critic J. Wynn Rousuck, who joins Tom today with her review of Rapid Lemon Productions' Rachel, a seminal, century-old play about racism that's been newly adapted for the stage by Baltimore playwright Aladrian C. Wetzel.
Rachel was written in 1916 by Angelina Weld Grimké, one of the luminaries of the so-called Harlem Renaissance. She penned it as an artistic retort to the 1915 release of director D.W. Griffith’s racist film, “Birth of a Nation”.
Originally titled “Blessed are the Barren”, the play tells the story of a Black woman who rejects marriage and motherhood after discovering a horrifying family secret. It was first produced in Washington, DC, by the NAACP, and published in 1920.
Ms. Wetzel's new adaptation is her second commissioned play for Rapid Lemon Productions, after 2019’s acclaimed Thank You, Dad.
Rapid Lemon's production of Rachel is being performed live on stage, and also live-streamed, through September 26th at Baltimore's Motor House, located at 120 W North Ave, Baltimore, MD 21201. For ticketing information, click here.