The Painted Rocks at Revolver Creek is playing at Signature Theatre located at 480 West 42nd Street. It runs one hour forty five minutes with one intermission. The play closes on June 7 2015.
Athol Fugard is the playwright and director. He was nominated for a Tony Award in 1975 for Best Play for “Sizwe Bansi is Dead”. Athol won a special Tony Award in 2011, “Lifetime Achievement in the Theatre”.
Sahr Ngaujah was nominated for a Tony Award and a Laurence Olivier Award for “Fela” (2008)
Christopher H. Barrera is the scenic designer. He won a Tony Award, Drama Desk Award and Outer Critic Circle Award in 2014 for Rocky.
Act one takes place in Revolver Creek, Mpumalanga Province South Africa in 1981.
Bokkie (Caleb McLaughlin) is a young boy pulling a cart filled with paint. Nukain (Leon Addison Brown) is an old gentleman is following him. He painted flowers on all the surrounding rocks. There is one large rock to paint. Nukain ponders on what he should paint. He tells Bokkie to sing while they paint. What he paints is so different it startled Bokkie. He tells him the painted rock represents his life.
The wife of the farmer whose farm he works on comes up the hill to give them leftovers for them to eat. Elmarie (Bianca Amato) wants him to wash the painting off the rock. Bokkie protests, he tries to explain to her what it is. Nukain is humble before her. She tells him to spank Bokkie for being sassy. When she leaves Nukain explains his life to him. He has nothing, I’m poor. The shack we live in is not mine.
Act two takes place in 2003. Life is different for blacks. Johnathan (Sahr Ngaujah) arrives on the hill. When he was younger he was known as Bokkie. As he sits down on a rock a white woman, Elmarie arrives pointing a gun at him. She make him empty his bag, it’s filled with paint. He said he is there to paint the rock the way Nukain had wanted it. Elmarie explains the farm next to hers the husband was killed and the wife beaten because she did not know the combination for the safe. It seems the surrounding farms have been robbed by blacks.
Johnathan explains where he has been, what has been going on in his life and Africa. She tells him her side.
This is a well done play that is well worth seeing. It is a very heart wrenching drama.
The cast does an outstanding job.
Caleb McLaughlin is thirteen. He is a very talented young man.
If you don’t have to go to the rest rooms during intermission stick around. It’s fascinating to watch how they change the set.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich.
Photos by Annazor.
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