*You know you are a good actor when people are so mad at the character you portrayed, that they don’t want to applaud your performance. Such was the case on Sunday, October 1st, at the Zephyr Theater in Hollywood.
At the conclusion of “Br’er Cotton,” a play written by Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm and directed by Gregg T. Daniel, there were some in the audience who did not applaud when Omete Anassi, the actor who played Ruffrino came out to take a bow.
Anassi played a 14 year old militant type growing up in Lynchburg, Virginia, spending his days becoming increasingly frustrated at the police shootings of young black men like himself. To say Anassi’s character Ruffrino had issues with his mother and grandfather, with whom he lived in a sinking house that was once smack dab in the middle of a cotton plantation, is a severe understatement.
Ruffino’s, mother Nadine, played beautifully by Yvonne Huff Lee, did all she could to hold the family together as she cleaned houses by day and attended college by night.
Ruffino’s grandfather Matthew, played convincingly by Christopher Carrington, was a retired cotton mill worker who reminded me of Fred Sanford, (“I’m coming Elizabeth”) and also had a pretty good secret.
Ruffrino’s anger and frustration came to a powerful climax, which left me thinking “really?!” The entire cast, which also included. Emmaline Jacott (Caged_bird99), Shawn Law (Police Officer), Dane Oliver (RuffandRino Avator) and Jasmine Wright (Caged_Bird Avatar) played their parts to perfection.
Although the setting of “Br’er Cotton” was Lynchburg, Virginia, with all that has transpired lately, it could have been anywhere. You could almost pick a city, any city. Racial and civil unrest is coming to a boil, much like it did during the height of the civil rights movement and Br’er Cotton shows what happens when anger and frustration are not rechanneled and dealt with appropriately.
If you are not adverse to the ‘N’ word being used liberally, go and check out Br’Er Cotton, before it ends its run on October 29 at the Zephyr Theater in Hollywood. To buy tickets for “Br’er Cotton” and get more info, go to Plays411.com.
Marilyn Smith is a Los Angeles based writer/reviewer. Contact her via [email protected].