Kenny Hardin, Salisbury City Councilman
♦ I had the pleasure of attending a special invitation offering last night of the theatre production, “Point Blank-Voices From The Margin.” This outstanding play was held at the Lee Street Theater, which is a very intimate setting that made this production truly come alive. The room was near capacity, filled with people from the business, political, and private communities attending.
The Playbill read that it was going to be Dynamic, Edgy, and Real. It delivered all three and much more. The topic and theme of the play is timely and necessary, but sadly will not be appreciated and reached by those that need to hear it. Racism, Black Lives Matter, Police Brutality, The Racial Divide, White Guilt, and Racial Reconciliation were served up brilliantly. For some, this menu will be difficult to swallow.
From the start, the awesome young ladies from the Triple Threat Dance Company jar you into reality with a powerful Hoodie inspired routine. Every other socially conscious routine they performed in thereafter was equally impressive. Lead performer Tameka Brown offered a strong performance that pulled you in and made you feel the pain she was expressing. Another performer, Joe Elliot, captured the raw emotion of what it feels like to be a Black man in an unforgiving world that doesn’t readily allow you to be a man. The two White performers in the six person ensemble cast brought a needed perspective and played their roles extremely well. It brought a great balance to the discussion and credit should be given to the unapologetic way that acted.
The Director expertly used multimedia offerings to keep the fast pace of the show fresh. He used a large screen to flash images that gripped you while infusing music and recorded narration. He made it locally relevant by flashing names of local residents on the screen while the actors read quotes from them. I was surprised and humbled that three quotes I had made in local papers were used in the production. Several role calls were made of victims of racist brutality by the KKK and law enforcement. Ferguson Laurent and other local persons were included which I’m certain will not be well received well by some. Painted on the floor surrounding the stage were similar names of those whose lives were lost under similar questionable circumstance.
Nearing the end of the 1st act, Catawba College Student Destiny Stone sang her signature song entitled “Colorblind.” If you closed your eyes and listened, it sounded as if Alicia Keys had entered the building and took the stage. It was obvious this song meant a lot to her personally and she left nothing out singing it.
It was noted several times in the 2nd Act Q&A session that the people who really need to hear the message will not come out. I agree. If you want to have the conversation on race and racism, this is a great place to understand where we are in society to begin the discussion. It is an uncomfortable topic but if we are sincere about closing the racial divide, we have to get comfortable with bring uncomfortable.
I give credit and much respect to all those involved in bringing this production to Salisbury. The Director and all the Sponsors should be lauded for this effort. This is a much needed conversation. I hope everyone regardless of race or socioeconomic status will take the time to attend this production.
(L-R) Dennis Rivers, Kenny Hardin, Shawn Henderson:
Playbill: Point Blank–Voices from the Margin:
Tamika Rivers, the Lead: