It’s your last opportunity to see the powerful drama “White Guy on a Bus,” closing Sunday March 3 at the Campbell Martinez Theatre. Produced by Women of Words Productions, Bruce Graham’s tale of racial divide is deftly directed by Kevin Kennedy and Carol Bower-Foote.
It is a strong vehicle for actors Avi Jacobson and Chelsea Bearce, who are mesmerizing in their roles. As characters from the opposite side of the tracks, Jacobson plays Ray, an affluent Caucasian financial adviser who is a “number’s man.” He befriends Shatique (Bearce) a black nursing student and struggling single mom. Shatique travels weekly to visit her brother who is in prison for life no hope for parole.
Ray is married to Roz, a teacher (played by Lisa Luttinger) who has dedicated her life to working with minority students at a rough school where the staff has a weekly pool on how many times she will be called “white bitch.” Luttinger has solid moments battling the meaning of discrimination with her friend Molly (Lauren Kelly), who teaches at a well-funded private school.
Kelly’s sweet naiveté is an excellent contrast to Luttinger’s cynicism. Moses Kaplan completes the cast as Molly’s husband who struggles to complete his dissertation on African American male images on television while being tempted to give up academia for a financially rewarding career in Ray’s firm.
This set, created by director’s Kennedy and Foote-Bowers, accentuates Eddie Robert’s lighting design allowing for swift changes in time and space in this memory play which succeeds in capturing the audience for a very bumpy, thought provoking ride.
“White Guy on the Bus” through Sunday, March 3rd. Tickets are available at womenofwords.brownpapertickets.com or an hour before the show at the Campbell Theatre, 636 Ward Street in downtown Martinez.
Kathryn G. McCarty is well-known around the Bay Area as an educator, playwright and journalist. Send comments by email to KGMcCarty@gmail.com.