The Schoolhouse Theater, 3 … Except for Daniels, administrators’ response to the racist attacks is more about protecting their reputation, padding their resumés and asserting their own liberal bona fides than about actually helping the affected student. Tickets to the screening are free, with a suggested donation of $5, and can be reserved online at www.bagnbaggage.org. That’s more a comment on our society’s lack of progress than the play. Spinning Into Butter (2007) Plot Summary (2) A hate crime on the campus of a New England college puts the school's dean in a position where she has to examine her own feelings about race and prejudice, while maintaining her administration's politically correct policies. September 18, 2017 // FEATURED, THEATER // Brett Campbell, “It is a play,” writes Bag & Baggage Productions Artistic Director Scott Palmer in the program notes, “that deals with well-meaning, liberally minded, white people dealing with issues of racism in a way that I think is hugely relevant to me personally and to the community of Hillsboro.”. Dean of students Sarah Daniels must confront a series of racist incidents that appear to threaten not only one of the few students of color but also the white faculty’s misguided sense of their own enlightenment. Gilman does a good job of portraying the administrators' reactions. In fact, I actually wanted it to be more uncomfortable; actors’ entrances occurred so far from the central table where most of the action happens that it dissipated some of the Twelve Angry Men-style tension the show needs. The play Spinning into Butter by Rebecca Gilman is considered controversial. She does not disclose her past to anyone, but when an African-American student, Simon Brick, becomes the victim of hate crime, she soon realizes that not only will her past return to haunt her, she will be expected to be the liaison person for the minorities, as well as be asked to prepare a 10-point bullet-ed list to resolve racism. The intimacy of B&B’s spiffy new Vault Theater magnifies the necessary intensity. Naturally, their academic airiness is counterbalanced by an equally stereotyped, idealized campus security officer, who laconically dispenses down-to-earth, Common People perspective on their pomposity — until the end, when he briefly mounts his own figurative podium. -, "In comparison with this real-life crisis of confidence, Gilman's play sometimes seems small and parochial, and unlike Mamet she seems incapable of spare, tense dialogue. Along with the production itself, the company provides a study guide, blog, and talkbacks for airing these necessary conversations. Hypocrisy and self-deception in confronting racial issues remain, alas, ever-relevant topics, and particularly so in blue regions like western Oregon, where many of us white progressives falsely imagine that we can’t be part of the problem. “I mean, I’m standing right here in front of you,” Chibas tells Daniels. Post was not sent - check your email addresses! ''Spinning Into Butter'' by Rebecca Gilman. No matter what your color, if you saw or read the play, please weigh in in the comments section below. “Are you even looking at me?”. general information | review summaries | our review | links | about the author. Simultaneously wryly intelligent and vulnerable, she convincingly conveys her alienated character’s shifting self-image, making us identify with Daniels’s genuine desire to do right and her genuine anguish as she confronts her own inability to do so. However, one thing that actually does happen onstage — Kymberli Colbourne’s fully realized, yet understated leading performance — should also start a conversation, about the best performance on a Portland stage in this young theater season. It certainly helps, though, that Chibas is brilliantly played here by Bag & Baggage’s latest discovery, Southern Oregon University drama student Carlos Trujillo, a Hillsboro High School grad in, unbelievably, his first professional role. Set at a small liberal arts college in Vermont called Belmont College (sounding a whole lot like Ms. Gilman's semi-alma mater, Middlebury College (she only spent two years there)), the story is set in motion when someone starts leaving "threatening ... well, racist notes" on the door of one of the few black / Afro-American students there, Simon Brick. Instead of a moderate neoliberal national political administration, we’re ruled by an avowedly retrograde regime whose most influential supporters are whites opposed to losing their unfairly privileged social and economic standing. Box Office: (914) 277-8477. The argument is, of course, a baffling one, and people outside the United States may have great trouble trying to understand why this is such an emotional issue. Other roles include two older administrators, a professor with whom Sarah had an affair, and two students.
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