Theater: BLACK FEMINIST VIDEO GAME (The Civilians)

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by Gregory Bernard on March 29, 2021

in Theater-New York,Virtual


Tech expertise and artistic innovation come together for a groundbreaking online theatrical experience: The Civilians’ digital premiere production of Black Feminist Video Game by Darrel Alejandro Holnes, a mashup of live performance, video game design and online interaction. Six live performances of will stream from Tuesday, April 27 through Sunday, May 2, 2021 at 8pm ET / 5pm PT. On-demand viewing of a captured performance will be available from May 2-9, 2021. Tickets, priced at $10, can be purchased at 59E59 Theaters, The Civilians, and Center Theatre Group,

Following close on the heels of The Civilians’ innovative smash hit Russian Troll Farm (see Stage and Cinema‘s review), definitely one of the best shows of 2020, Black Feminist Video Game centers on Jonas, a biracial teenager with autism. Jonas broadcasts all aspects of his life online, including a disastrous first date with his crush, Nicole. Desperate to regain her affections, he dusts off a long-ignored gift from his mother — a classic 2D “Black feminist video game” — hopeful that the game will grant him the key to winning Nicole back. But Jonas soon discovers that, with only the Game Master and his friend Sabine to guide him, he must confront his own misperceptions of the women in his (real) life, or risk losing not only the game but also his first chance at love.

Jonas and Sabine stream their play, video-chat with each other and find their path through the game together. Along the way, at-home viewers will help (or hinder!) their progress by responding in real time to the choices they make. The Civilians are working with members of the Autistic community, as well as Neurodivergent members within the company of the show. The show is intended for audiences ages 16 and up.

The cast includes Christon Andell as Jonas, Kyla Jeanne Butts as Sabine, Starr Kirkland as Nicole, Darrel Alejandro Holnes as DJ/Hype Person and other voices, Constance Fields as Mother, Phillip Patrick Wright as Mark, Michael Diamond as Hans, Mia Anderson as Marguerite and Brandiss LaShai Seward as Audre Lorde.

This is a national collaboration with presenters 59E59 Theaters’ Plays in Place program, Center Theatre Group, Oregon Shakespeare Festival and co-commissioner Williams Center for the Arts, Lafayette College.

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