By The Way, Meet Vera Stark

Pulitzer Prize-winning playwright Lynn Nottage takes on 1930’s Hollywood racial stereotypes in this comedy – that’s right, a comedy about racial stereotypes. That means you’ll laugh, but at times uncomfortably, which is often a window to great insight and true understanding. Inspired by the myriad African American women who agreed to present caricatures of themselves in film and appear as nothing better than servants (women like Theresa Harris, Hattie McDaniel, and Louise Beavers, to name but a few), this examination of the aftermath of being a “subservient” star, and one with a successful white counterpart, is both poignant and powerful. Hattie McDaniel supposedly once said, “Hell, I’d rather play a maid than be one” – but even being a pretend maid carries a heap load of heavy baggage. Go watch it unpack, and walk away inspired.

Fridays, Saturdays, 8 p.m.; Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: April 11. Continues through May 3, 2015

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