|Maya Burton and Kamaria Hallums-Harris in Is God Is (Chris Bennion)|
Is God Is
Washington Ensemble Theatre and The Hansberry Project
Through September 23, 2019
It’s not likely that playwright Aleshea Harris is that familiar with local Book-It Repertory Theatre, but her dialogue-as-narration in her play, Is God Is, is strikingly like the “Book-It style” we’ve gotten used to. Twin sisters Racine (‘Cine) and Anaia (‘Naia) describe each other to the audience as they discuss a letter that has arrived from God. It’s from their mother, who they believed was dead, and from whom they have not heard for at least 18 years!
They describe their lives growing up in horrific-sounding foster care as they try to cope with the sudden news that their mother wants to see them. They speak of her as God because she “made” them, so therefore, they are beholden to her in the way they’d be to God.
They determine they need to go see her. The letter comes from a rest home in “Oscarville, MS/AL/FL/TX/TN/AR/KY, Dirty South” followed by a zip code so long that you lose track of the numbers. This helps put the journey on track to be “mythic” in nature. Outside of or bigger than real life.