Date: November 15, 2023
Location: Goode Theatre

by Dominique Morisseau, directed by Brittney S. Harris

In 1939, Billie Holiday sang, "Southern trees bear a strange fruit / Blood on the leaves and blood at the root." In 2006, white high school students in Jena, Louisiana hung nooses on their campus tree, igniting the ever-present racial powder keg. The school fight that resulted ended with the Jena Six, all Black students, being arrested for attempted murder.

Blood at the Root is a striking drama based on these true events. This bold, lyrical play or "choreopoem" by Dominique Morisseau reveals our criminal justice system's ingrained white supremacy, the exhausting persistence of racial double standards, and the resulting effects on the lives of Black people and their families.

As Maya Phillips, for American Theatre (TCG) writes:

[Blood at the Root] aims to take the language of incrimination, of privilege, of prejudice, and transform it into poetry, music, and choreography that does not obscure the underlying sociopolitical messages, but rather highlights and recontextualizes them, steering them away from the straightforward black and white of the issue to instead probe the grey areas of politics and social culpability.

Amid music, choral performances, and dance, each student explores his or her proximity to the events and determines their place within a tradition of hatred and segregation.

Free parking is available in Constant Center/45th St. Garage.