RHODY LIFE

Wilbury's 'The Race' is masterful, innovative theater

Posted 1/21/21

Theatre Review by DON FOWLER The Wilbury Theatre has established itself as an innovative theater that can adapt to just about any situation, including a pandemic. Director Brien Lang has taken Mark Binder's clever, interactive play, "e;The Race,"e; recruited

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RHODY LIFE

Wilbury's 'The Race' is masterful, innovative theater

Posted

The Wilbury Theatre has established itself as an innovative theater that can adapt to just about any situation, including a pandemic.

Director Brien Lang has taken Mark Binder’s clever, interactive play, “The Race,” recruited two of Rhode Island’s best actors, added the voice of Jennifer Mischley, and involved his audience in a thought-provoking evening of theater.

Joseph Black and Joseph White, played alternately by Jim O’Brien and Rodney Eric Lopez, are interviewing online for a job with a large, unnamed corporation.

The questions start out innocently but slowly progress to an uncomfortable stage that digs deeply into the candidates’ past, forcing them to choose between telling the truth or giving the answer that they believe the interviewer wants to hear.

The two candidates come from different backgrounds, experiences and races. One is very slick and smooth, while the other finds himself uneasy and conflicted.

As the interview progresses, a major development about the faceless interviewer begins to surface.

Along the way, the individual audience members are asked to answer a number of questions and, eventually, choose the candidate they prefer.

On screen, you are able to watch the two men react to the questions and to the responses given by their rival candidate. Lopez and O’Brien are excellent in displaying their emotions through voice inflections and body language.

By the end of the interview, you realize that you have been cleverly manipulated just as the candidates were.

The audience members, through Zoom, are then invited to a chat where the play is discussed.

“The Race” will be presented this Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m., with additional performances January 29-31. Tickets cost $20 per person and can be ordered at thewilburygroup.org.

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