The Goodies (based on the Salem Witch Trials, 2017)
The Goodies (based on the Salem Witch Trials, 2017) Role: Conceiver & Director. THE GOODIES was an ensemble devised play, produced by Iron Crow theater in 2017. The concept was of a modern retelling of the Salem Witch Trials, through the lens of contemporary racism, and what has now come to be called "cancel culture."
With a cast of all women of color, we started with the question: "What if we believed the teenage girl accusers of Salem?" and, as an ensemble, created characters and wrote a script about a group of high school girls who mysteriously become ill due to the racism they experience in school, and the complex and tragic way of the adults in their lives preferred to shut them up by purging the "racists" from the school and saying it was fixed, rather than dig deeper to uproot the system of racism that poisoned everyone.
The above image is from towards the end of the play, when the world, through Twitter (represented by illustrated projections and sticky notes the actors "posted" to their own bodies), suddenly turns on the girls after previously pushing them to keep naming racists. Actors featured here are (back row L-R): Elizabeth Ung, Alex Reeves, Aladrian Wetzel, Danie Harrow; (front row L-R): Dana Woodson, Jess Rivera.
As a white artist who conceived and directed this piece, I knew that I needed to have the cast of actors of color lead this process--it was their personal stories and experiences that became fictionalized and tied together into a narrative, and while it was a very difficult play for them to perform and for audiences to experience, I believe everyone (including myself) walked away forever changed. My desire was for what I knew to would be a majority white audience to feel implicated at some point, to reexamine how they view the Salem Witch Trials: not as religious fanatics gone insane (something that liberal white people can easily distance ourselves from), but a highly intelligent, purity-pursuing modern people, from whom the White people of the US have inherited the majority of our culture.