Fall play review: “Blood at the Root”

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Fall play review: “Blood at the Root”

“Blood at the Root” by Dominique Morisseau is based on the Jena Six, a group of six black Louisiana high school students who were convicted after the beating of a white student.

“Blood at the Root” by Dominique Morisseau is based on the Jena Six, a group of six black Louisiana high school students who were convicted after the beating of a white student.

Mya Copeland

“Blood at the Root” by Dominique Morisseau is based on the Jena Six, a group of six black Louisiana high school students who were convicted after the beating of a white student.

Mya Copeland

Mya Copeland

“Blood at the Root” by Dominique Morisseau is based on the Jena Six, a group of six black Louisiana high school students who were convicted after the beating of a white student.

The orange spotlights illuminated a massive tree that reached up into the rafters. The stage which normally seemed huge was dwarfed by the giant scenery. The stage itself was stunning, and the show that took place on it was equally as impressive. “Blood at the Root” by Dominique Morisseau is based on the Jena Six, a group of six black Louisiana high school students who were convicted after the beating of a white student.

Imani Noel, sophomore, took on the role of Raylynn, a fierce African American girl who wants change. Noel opened the play with a dialogue impressing on the audience the importance of changing the way Cedar High is divided by race and her rule breaks to follow. Her passionate performance made audience members root for Raylynn during her struggles.

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Ryan Zickel, sophomore, had the difficult task of portraying Colin, an infamous transfer student, who battles homophobia and tries to fit in at Cedar High. Zickel’s soliloquy focused on the title, telling the audience how important it is to know what happened in a place and why. He explained how everything has roots through his inelegant but effective speech, giving audience members a look into his side of the story.

Although the tree reaching into the rafters was dramatic at first, it did not upstage the actors, who commanded the stage with the story they were telling. Racial issues are not easy to tackle, but the KH Players handled it in a mature and impactful way.

The play ended on a dramatic and poignant note: nooses dropping from the ceiling to add to the three already hanging from the tree. Noel ended the play with a parallel of the way she opened it, talking about the importance of today.