Cultural Arts Review

25 03 2011

Abby Murray-Nikkel

Mr. Haning

Varsity Chorus 1b

March 24, 2011

Dateline: Greensboro

In celebration of Black History Month, my family and I went to see Dateling: Greensboro, which was performed by the Gilbert Theater in downtown Fayetteville. I was so impressed by the performance as well as by the content of the play itself. Being familiar with the Greensboro area, it was so astonishing to realize how different things were like there only fifty years ago.

The opening scene portrayed four African American college students who were fed up with not being served at the local Woolworth’s counter, which was designate as a “whites only” counter. One of them is extremely passionate and wants to take and stand, and after some convincing, they all decide to go to Woolworth’s the next day and refuse to leave until they are served.

The rest of the play revolved around the employees of the Greensboro Gazette, a local newspaper who had a reputation of objectively reporting the news. There were many conflicts between employees who wish to report all of the civil rights news in Greensboro and those who wanted to downplay what is going on. These conflicts led one journalist to quit his job in order to join the protestors, and eventually to the editor being fired due to his printing of the news on the civil rights uprisings.

The perspective that the play took provided insight on how the people of Greensboro responded to the sit ins and protests. It is amazing to me how two people of similar age and background could have such opposite opinions on the subject: one believed that blacks deserve their second class citizenry and should be oppressed when protesting, and the other believed so strongly that everyone should be treated equally that he was willing to risk his life. This made me think about what the determining factor might be in one’s opinion on things such as this. Though the same issues are no longer at hand, American’s opinions about political issues are often extremely different.

I later discovered that the opening scene I described earlier, along with an additional scene in which the four students who started the sit in discussed their desire to give up, were written by the cast members themselves and added at the very last minute. I thought that these additional scenes put the play over the top, and I was impressed with their ability to do this at the last minute.

Overall, I was very impressed with the performance by the Gilbert Theater in Dateline:Greensboro. The acting was impeccable, and the message that the play portrayed was one that is essential for people in our community to remember.

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