Speakupwny.com
Buffalo News, Forums and Opinions
Live Forums and Blogs | Onlinebuffalo.com | Erie County | City of Buffalo 

Last Updated: Nov 18th, 2019 - 11:03:23 

Speakupwny.com 
Development
Editorials
Education
WNY News
Government Waste
Labor & Management
Letters to the Editor
Local Opinions
Local WNY Websites
New Government Structure
Politics
Preservation
Press Releases
Taxes and Fees
WNY Health
WNY Business
Reviews
Buffalo Sports
Insiders Corner



Reviews

PIPELINE Ujima Theatre/Ujima Company
By
Sep 25, 2019, 11:48
Email this article
 Printer friendly page
Through October 13
PIPELINE Ujima Theater/Ujima Company

By Augustine Warner

Schools are schools. Right?
Not exactly.
That’s what Dominique Morisseau’s “Pipeline” is about.
Nya (Shanntina Moore) is an African-American teacher in a violence-ridden high school somewhere in a Black neighborhood in New York City.
Her son Omari (Jerai Khadim) attends an exclusive White boarding school somewhere north of the City.
He really doesn’t like much about the school, except for Jazmine (Samantha Cruz), who is his rock in what he thinks of as a bad situation.
Morisseau has written a series of penetrating plays looking at race relations in real times, several of them staged here, among them “Skeleton Crew” and “Detroit 67.”
Omari has serious discipline issues, already “two strikes.”
Then, the class book for the day is Richard Wright’s “Native Son,” a look at race and class a century ago, the hunt for Bigger Thomas after he accidentally kills a young and rich White socialite.
Omari decides the teacher is picking on him when drilling down into the novel and tells him he’s just not interested in taking part in the class discussion, suspecting race is involved because the story of Bigger Thomas is all about race.
Tensions escalate and Omari pushes the teacher out of the way and storms out of the classroom.
Obviously, a bad situation, but here it’s worse because someone in the class records it all on a cell phone and it begins to go viral.
Nya is dealing with the tensions of her school and the problems of a White teacher, Laurie (Mary Moebius), who is clearly a burnout from the problems in the building, one with four schools inside.
There’s also the problem of her ex-husband, Omari’s disconnected father, Xavier (Johnny Rowe).
Omari disappears, really hiding out in Jazmine’s dorm room, complaining about what’s been done to him.
Nya has seen the prep school as a way out for Omari and gets anxious when her son vanishes, while facing dismissal
Finally, Xavier surfaces and appears to blame Nya and offers to take control of Omari so that he can be better controlled.
Of course, that brings in the unexplained tensions in their past relationships.
Then, Laurie is faced with a brutal fight in her classroom, apparently two gang members, and she physically breaks it up when security doesn’t appear and now she faces dismissal.
Under unrelenting pressure, Nya breaks down.
This leads to a centerpiece of the play, the hospital confrontation among Nya, Omari and Xavier and Dun (Phil Davis, Sr.), the security guard in the school building who brought her to the hospital and wisely decides to get out of the way when the family tensions explode.
We don’t find out what happens.
Morisseau clearly wants it that way, since there are plenty of possible endings.
What she does is look at one of the key struggles in American race relations.
“Pipeline” looks at how education isn’t necessarily the answer and some of the reasons why.
It’s also a look at a Black family trying to do their best for a difficult kid and not having all of the answers in a society where not all of them exist.
“Pipeline” is a must-see show, with especially strong performances from Moore, Khadim, Moebius and Rowe and tight direction from Lorna C. Hill.

© Copyright 2019 - Speakupwny.com
hosted by Online Media, Inc
Buffalo Web Design and Web Hosting

Top of Page

Buffalo Theatre District
Reviews
Latest Headlines
ELF THE MUSICAL Daemen College/MusicalFare Theatre
THE BOYS UPSTAIRS Daemen College/MusicalFare Theatre
OH MY GOD! Maxine and Robert Seller Theatre/Jewish Repertory Theatre
INTERROGATION ROOM Road Less Traveled Theatre/Road Less Traveled Productions
SHE KILLS MONSTERS Manny Fried Playhouse/Subversive Theatre Collective
THE TOXIC AVENGER Shea's Smith Theatre/Second Generation Theatre
THE KINDNESS OF STRANGERS Compass Performing Arts Center/Navigation Theatre Company
SUPERIOR DONUTS 710 Main Theatre/Road Less Traveled Productions
YOUNG FRANKENSTEIN 710 Main Theatre/Road Less Traveled Productionsl
NAVIGATORS Alleyway Theatre
IZZY! The Life and Times of Izzy Freel The New Phoenix Theatre in the Park
MAN AND SUPERMAN With Don Juan in Hell Festival Theatre/Shaw Festival
LADIES SWING THE BLUES Paul Robeson Theatre/African American Cultural Center
'TIS PITY SHE'S A WHORE Andrews Theatre/Irish Classical Theatre Company
PIPELINE Ujima Theatre/Ujima Company



Buffalo Web hosting and Buffalo Web Design By OnLineMedia, Inc
www.olm1.com

Part of
www.onlinebuffalo.com