Theater Review: Chilling Raleigh Little Theatre Production of ‘Blood at the Root’ Packs a Punch
The Raleigh Little Theatre production of Dominique Morisseau’s Blood at the Root leaves the audience with more questions than answers.
Inspired by the true story of six black students in Central Louisiana who were charged with the attempted murder of a white student in 2006, Blood at the Root explores racism, the miscarriage of justice, and the shattering state of black family life.
Under the watchful eye of director Lormarev Jones, a talented, young, multi-racial cast work their way through Morisseau’s fast-paced scenes with precision and resolve. Aysia Slade leads the charge with an inspired performance as Raylynn. Notable too are the strong performances of Myles Moore, Brynna Roseberg, Roman Lawerence, Jenna Davenport, and Carl Staub.
From a production standpoint, the show couldn’t have been better. Uncomplicated, smooth scene changes and phenomenal lighting design set an ominous and eerie tone.
There were some sightline issues, however, wherein some actors might not be seen or heard clearly due to blocking or voice projection. But that didn’t mar the overall impact of the show. In fact, as someone who has directed plays in the Gaddy-Goodwin theater before, staging this production in such a small, intimate space, has the advantage of positioning the audience so close to the action that they become a part of it.
Blood at the Root certainly packs a punch and is chilling to watch. But perhaps what was most astounding to me opening night, was the fact that a diverse audience seemed to not only be moved by it but also get it, which perhaps is the first step towards racial reconciliation and understanding.
Blood at the Root runs through October 13th. For more information visit https://raleighlittletheatre.org/shows/blood-at-the-root/ or the RDU on Stage Calendar Page.