2016-17 Season 14
brownsville song (b-side for tray)
by Kimber Lee
Directed and Choreographed by Paige Hernandez
Sep 15 - Oct 9, 2016
WORLD PREMIERELife in the Brownsville neighborhood of Brooklyn can feel predictable, and inevitable, but Tray has a way out. Then, when a senseless act of violence cuts his life short, his family must confront their grief and find a way to move forward. Kimber Lee’s hopeful drama shifts between memory and reality, and bids that we examine the personal pain beyond the headlines.
What They Say
“Hernandez jazzes up the staging with a few choreographed touches, including an adorable weeping-willow dance for Devine. Off and on throughout the show, original music by the composer known as Nick tha 1da (“The Hip-Hop Children’s Trilogy,” etc.) evokes the liveliness and hipness of a big-city community. It all helps round out our sense of Tray’s distinctive life. By the time the play ends, we feel his death as a painful loss.”
“Theater Alliance’s brownsville song (b-side for tray) offers a small glimmer of hope in this broken world. Although it tells of how a young man’s promising life is cut short by gang violence, brownsville song is ultimately a story of empathy, forgiveness, and finding strength in coming together…This is an important play, and I applaud Theater Alliance for bringing it at a time it’s needed most.”
“For most of the show, we see Tray trying to express himself in his college scholarship essay. It’s a clever framing device that takes on a greater significance when it circles back to question: how can we see the worth of an entire life in a snapshot?"
“The onslaught outside of gun violence and senseless killings could easily make this play feel too timely, too topical, too true to life. But what Theater Alliance achieves with Kimber Lee’s brownsville song (b-side for tray) is something else entirely. When you see it you’ll feel it. It’s hope to hold on tight to.”