Thursday, April 28, 2005
This evening I went to the Berkeley Repertory Theatre and saw The People's Temple a play about the People Temple, the groups' inception until its' tragic end in Jonestown. The Play was directed by Leigh Fondakowski who used the framework of presenting dialogs from interviews of Jonestown survivors and archival material to present the story of The Peoples Temple.
I found the play profoundly sad, I could empathize with the dreams the members to live in a world without racism. To see their utopia deteriorate to a doom days cult was heart breaking.
There seemed to be a cautionary tale within a play about Blacks folks trusting a white leader to lead them from racist society. Jim Jones solution in response to white racism was death but the death of African-Americans is a victory for racist.
It was interesting to see Blacks complimenting the Temple and whites primarily criticizing it. I couldn't help but wonder if living at the commune in Jonestowns was better than living in America for many African-Americans. I feel like there is another story which the play didn't cover.
The play was well and structure and the performances were powerful and interesting. But the play left me with a tight feeling in my chest an angry.
Theatre Night Facts
Bought tickets at Half-Price Tix Union Square (seats were Orchestra front row - but to the left on the aisle)
Before the performance we had dinner at Everett and Jones in Oakland of Broadway. I think it's the cutest BBQ joint in the Bay Area.