“Some plays take place in factories and you hear the effect of how people react (to certain situations), but you don’t see how it affects their daily lives, especially at work,” he said. declared. “But ‘Sweat’ brings (the characters) together when they leave work, when they’re with friends. These characters live in their pain. They don’t know what to do. They’ve never had or needed to go see the ( executives) and air their opinions and frustrations. They have never felt safe or secure to do so for fear of losing their jobs. They need someone to fight for so they fight.
Tubbs also views the play as a cautionary tale, especially as the pandemic and political divisions threaten the current societal fabric.
“If you saw these characters on the street, you would immediately condemn them as racist or sexist,” he said. “And the game doesn’t forgive them, which I appreciate. But what he does is put hate in the context of fear. Why they say what they say comes from a real, genuine place of fear. But I hope the power of peace can begin to reflect within ourselves. How do we respond to people we say we love but blame for things they are not responsible for? »
The cast includes Mady McCabe as Tracey, Zavi Odetta as Cynthia, Elaine Mueller as Jessie, Jake Jones as Stan, Daniel Duncan-Bevans as Brucie, Remah Nyumah as Evan, Marcus Antonio as Chris, Tommy Cole as Jason, and Andres Martinez as Oscar. .
“It’s a very real story about a very real group of people who in many ways have gone unnoticed in this country,” said Jones, whose WSU credits include “Peter and the Starcatcher,” “Mother Courage and Her Children” and “Lend Me a Tenor.” As a Dayton native, I know what this town has been through with the GM plant closing here. (“Sweat”) is striking in many ways. As a cast and crew, we believe in telling the story of Reading respectfully and as honestly as possible.
The trip back to WSU
After graduating from Wright State in 2002 with a Bachelor of Fine Arts in acting, Tubbs appeared in the standout production of Sheila Ramsey’s “Jitney” for the Human Race Theater Company. Over the past 20 years he has moved to Los Angeles, earned an MFA at the University of Texas, directed ‘In the Blood’ at the Julliard School, ‘Independence Eve’ at the Signature Theater in Arlington , Virginia, and “Well-Intentioned White People” to Orlando Shakespeare, starred in the Human Race Theater Company’s comedy “The Complete Works of William Shakespeare Abridged” and produced the award-winning playwright’s “The Book of Grace.” Pulitzer Prize Suzan-Lori Parks in Austin, Texas.
Wright State rarely invites alumni to conduct, especially on the main stage. Tubbs is grateful for the opportunity to share his views on art, diversity and representation with students.
“It’s very nice to be invited back to the main stage,” he said. “It’s so nice to be back at Wright State because my time at Wright State was important. But I didn’t have a director who looked like me. But the moment Sheila Ramsey directed me in “Jitney,” I realized the power of someone who looked like me, who could understand me, and could tell a story I was involved in. In theater in general, representation matters, but we don’t talk about its importance or its raison d’être. And that’s what I talked about during rehearsals. Why is it important at this point that we come together to talk about representation? »
Joe Deer, artistic director of WSU, is happy to have Tubbs on board for this production, which has been in the works for nearly two years.
“It’s an incredible pleasure and honor to have someone who was once our student come back as an accomplished and exceptional director like Shaun Tubbs,” Deer said. “He and I have been talking for the early months of the pandemic about him coming to Wright State to lead something. We both love “Sweat,” and I know his take on the piece is rich and insightful. The students are abuzz over their rehearsal experience with him. I think they see his success and his skills as something attainable and inspiring.
HOW TO GET THERE
Where: Wright State University Creative Arts Center Festival Playhouse, 3640 Col. Glen Hwy., Dayton.
When: February 10-20; 7 p.m. Thursdays; 8 p.m. on Fridays and Saturdays; and 2 p.m. on Sunday. There will also be a show at 2 p.m. on Saturday. 12 February.
Cost: $15 to $25
Tickets: 937-775-2500 or liberal-arts.wright.edu/theatre
FYI: Customers are advised that the show contains foul language and depictions of violence. Customers are also required to wear masks.