The award-winning Up You Mighty Race Company will open its 9th season, a season of violence: Exploring the links towards peace, with the Boston premiere of The Mojo and The Sayso by Aishah Rahman, a Brown University associate professor.
Inspired by a true story, Aishah Rahmanâ€™s wonderfully crafted fantasy play exists between a prayer and a spell. Three years after the death of his 10-year-old son,who was shot in the back by a white police officer, Acts Benjamin is in search of a talisman to bring his family together. His quest leads him to build a car in the middle of his living room. Awilda, his wife, seeks solace by immersing herself in the church, while Walter his stepson, takes up arms seeking to become a â€œrighteous gunman.â€
But first they must find their mojo, truths must be revealed, and a ritual exorcism must occur. The Mojo and The Sayso is a story of a family: vulnerable human beings who sustain pain and love, hatreds, joys, sorrows, and degradation, and, finally, triumph.
As the season opener, The Mojo and The Sayso asks the question â€œwhat comes at the end of mourning?â€ It is the first of six plays the company plans to stage in its two year season of violence, which will focus on the often-overlooked aspects of violence, such as mourning, oppression, and broken rites and rituals.
Up You Mighty Race will continue its Friday Night Audience Talk Back series by partnering with community organizations such as The National Black College Alliance to discuss themes from the play related to youth violence, family and healing, and police brutality and community safety.
Producing Artistic Director Akiba Abaka returns to the stage after winning the 2008 IRNE Award for Best Director, for last fallâ€™s critically acclaimed In the Continuum by Danai Gurira and Nikkole Salter.
â€œIâ€™ve been living with this play for almost eight yearsâ€, says Abaka. â€œ... but I couldnâ€™t have directed this play when I was 22, I was too young...you have to live a little bit of life to play with Rahman, she is very avant garde, she takes the absurd and makes it appropriately normal. She is not just a playwright she is a mystic.â€
The Mojo and The Sayso will begin previews today and run until
October 24 at the Plaza Black Box Theatre, Boston Center for the Arts 539 Tremont Street. For tickets please visit bostontheatrescene.com or call 617-933-8600.
A Gala Benefit performance will mark the official opening night this Saturday, October 3, at 8 p.m. For tickets to the Gala Benefit performance, contact the company directly at 617-536-9695, Ext. 204. For more information visit upyoumightyrace.org.