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  Rastus and Hattie at Online Stream

Rastus and Hattie

Online Stream

Needra and Marlene enjoy a perfect post-racial friendship until two problematic robots walk into their christening celebration. These automatons, based on Westinghouse's 1930 brown-skinned robots, plus a glitch in the time-space continuum, place them at opposite ends of society in an alternate past. This provocative comedy jumps from the outrageous to the profound as it delves into our traumatic legacy and explores new ideas about moving forward. Recorded at Chicago's Classick Studios, this audio play will be paired with illustrations created by artist Roy Thomas.

Presented by 16th Street Theater

Thru - Oct 24, 2020

Show Times TBA

Show Type: Comedy/Drama

  Rastus and Hattie Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Windy City Times - Highly Recommended

"...Director Lanise Antoine Shelley has rescripted Langford's intelligent and articulate text to radio-drama configuration featuring the voices of seven actors, meticulously arranged by sound designer Olanrewaju Adewole and audio engineer Nathan Cox-Reed. Visual narrative is conveyed in graphic-novel fashion as a series of silhouette-collages, created by Roy Thomas and animated right before our eyes by video editor Peter Marston Sullivan."
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Mary Shen Barnidge

NewCity Chicago - Recommended

"...This play works on many levels in large part to the talents of McNeil and Goodloe. Their chemistry serves a steadying presence throughout the production. The radio adaptation also benefits greatly from the Roy Thomas's simple but arresting illustrations which frequently capture the characters at the titular moment of their existence. Director Lanise Antoine Shelley also does a fine job of weaving together the many moving parts into one cohesive whole."
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Noel Schecter

Picture This Post - Recommended

"...Director Lanise Antoine Shelley led the seven-person cast through their recordings, integrating them with the low-key sound design by Olanrewaju Adewole. With their voices as the only tool for conveying their characters, the differences between the robots and flesh-people are even more elided. Their regional origins, however, are not, and another of the play's themes is the conflict between Needra and her Alabama-native husband over what home and authenticity even mean. Is pain too enmeshed in other emotions to be separable, or even identifiable, without causing more harm? That the play is almost entirely reduced to dialogue makes the characters more archetypical, but Langford is still highly specific about their circumstances. And in that, many audience members during the post-show discussion, offered through Zoom on Thursdays and Fridays, felt a strong personal connection. Needra finds her own answers to the play's questions, but the audience is left to wonder."
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Jacob Davis

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