San Jose Stage Company, in collaboration with the African-American Shakespeare Company, presents the virtual world premiere of L. Peter Callender's Strange Courtesies February 27–March 3.
Also directed by the playwright, the production features Tshiwela Maangani as Nomusa Kwanzi, Biko Eisen-Martin as Robert Seybold, Jamey Williams as Jonny Emanuel Kwanzi, Marjorie Johnson as Zenzile Kwanzi, Adam Green as Zachariah Kwanzi, and Robert Sicular as Howard Arthur Prinzloo.
Citizens of South Africa are confronting a painful past of the apartheid era through the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. The new drama explores the potential restorative power of truth telling, the significance of sympathetic witnesses, and the tasks of both perpetrators and bystanders in the TRC process.
“It seems so right that Strange Courtesies will be done at this time,” says Callender. “Following the past few years of strife in America, from Black Lives Matter protests, which, in fact, spread around the world, to the brutal killings of Black men and women by the police, and, most recently, the disgraceful attempted coup on our Capitol, our nation was reminded of what so many countries around the world have had to endure for decades. What could have been a horrible civil war following apartheid in South Africa, ended with a nation in mutual transformation; working together to heal the gaping wounds formed by apartheid. I hope America will learn from our recent past and set a similar example. I am humbled to be asked to direct my own work and thrilled to collaborate with the wonderful creative team and cast. I look forward to giving it over to my actors, who I know, will bring their own shapes, colors, and textures to this prayerful quilt.”
The production team also includes stage manager Allison F. Rich, video designer and editor Derrick Scocchera, costume designer Madeline Berger, sound designer IMRSV Sound, choreographer Devin Parker Sullivan, and dramaturg Leticia Lashell Ridley.
Tickets are $40 and are available by clicking here.
(Updated February 27, 2021)