Written and Performed by Juliette Jeffers
Directed by Denise Dowse
Juliette Jeffers plays every role in this very clever and compelling play.
Set in a court, with a judge, jury and prosecutor and defense, the play is an attempt to understand why Black people are always so routinely treated as less than. By asking the question, “What if God intended this all along and was held accountable?” Juliette morphs from character to character as witness after witness is brought forth by the prosecution and the defense to explain, to illustrate, to narrate, to effectuate, to become their own unique perspective, to literally show us their “why.” Each of them telling their story of racism, injustice, violence and a highly developed and encouraged self hatred over hundreds of years of subrogation. The Black slaves who were told over and over again how ugly they were by their capturers creating an evil dysmorphia that still persists. The Black man pulled over for a broken tail light, shot and killed in front of his girlfriend and daughter for no reason, the lessons learned by children born of the rape of slaves who were lighter skinned and treated far better than their darker mothers, creating a deep seated sense of caste of color which has remained and only become more vivid over the centuries. Story after story, witness after witness, brutality after brutality.
Juliette twists her body and her face and her voice as these stories have so deeply twisted this American culture.
The zeitgeist demands that we face our collective histories, good and bad. This “Black Voices” streaming festival is a testament to the creative and determined voices of the truth speakers of our world… and speaking truth is surely is the only place to begin when change must come.
It’s a brilliant and terrifying presentation, but one so necessary and so important that we must all pay attention.
Juliette Jeffers utilizes her formidable talent and deep and understandable pain to bring us what truly is the trial of the centuries. Fusing the fictional and the all to real, reminding us that what erupts on our streets has been 400 years in the making. To put God on trial is a bold and poignant way to put us all on trial. Each of us being held accountable for what we do now, in this century, in this lifetime, in this daily trial on our own culpable lives.
If this extraordinary play is very the beginning of the festival I can only imagine where we will journey together over the next few weeks in the capable and urgent hands of the Black Voices artists.
To see what’s coming next you can visit www.whitefiretheatre.com for their updated calendar and previews of the plays.
You can also find out what more Juliette is up to at visit www.juliettejeffers.com