Was witnessing “Fairview” part of my destiny? Days before seeing the 100-minute production at Woolly Mammoth Theater in Washington, D.C., I spontaneously joined a discussion at the Alexandria Black History Museum on race and White supremacy.
From the press write-ups, I knew “Fairview” was also about race. I did not know that it would be a highly creative, higher level version of the Alexandria discussion, while being entertaining.
The play opens with a beautiful Claire Huxtable-type set by scenic designer Misha Kachman. As the play moves forward, it’s funny, it’s entertaining, and the Black family is so all-“American.”
When the play turned from interesting to super creative was when playwright Jackie Sibblies Drury’s storytelling and unique methods of having her audience face race, ideas, and perceptions took center stage - - even overshadowing the superb acting.
By the end of the play, however, I thought the show had gotten quite out-the-box, some may even surmise it as totally bizarre. The last minutes of the performance even seemed to drag on.
However, Chinna Palmer, as Keisha, used the last minutes of the performance to further showcase her acting talents and complete ownership of the role as the family’s teenage daughter.
While the play was pleasantly mentally challenging, the free post-discussion added to the overall good experience. The talks follow each performance.