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The Daily Cardinal Est. 1892
Saturday, March 02, 2024
The cast of LINES: A Theatre LILA Invention from left to right: Laetitia Hollard, Yadira De La Riva, Olivia Dawson, Lachrisa Grandberry, Aidaa Peerzada, and Mercedes White.

The cast of LINES: A Theatre LILA Invention from left to right: Laetitia Hollard, Yadira De La Riva, Olivia Dawson, Lachrisa Grandberry, Aidaa Peerzada, and Mercedes White.

‘LINES’ showcases various obstacles people of color have faced, different lines that connect, construct their lives

Out of the eight different show times that the Theatre Lila is presenting the play “LINES: A Theatre Lila Invention” at the Overture Center, I was fortunate enough to gain perspective from it on Saturday night. As Melisa Pereyra — the piece's director and also one of its writers — gave the typical spiel to “silence your cell phones,” she also encouraged the audience to “lean forward” and connect to the show. Following her directions, I tilted forward and locked my eyes on the stage, which was broken up into different sections by several lines — I tried to figure out what they meant. Unsure of how exactly the show was going to pan out and what exactly the title “LINES” meant, I decided to just shift my focus entirely onto the six female actresses on stage and watch the empowering performance that was in front of me.

The play began with an adolescent girl singing the childhood nursery rhyme “Miss Mary Mack,” as she expressed her wonder about the pasts of Islamic, African and Hispanic women. She proceeded to repeatedly state “I have to know all of the before,” while each fierce female was introduced, giving a stereotypical description of their race. Though each narration, each of the females provoked laughter from the audience. They also succeeded in showcasing the different obstacles that people of color have faced, showing the young girl all of the different lines that connect and construct their lives.

“LINES” is a show that included a little bit of everything in terms of music, monologues, dancing and storytelling — but also with various movements. The show covered scarring stories that each female had experienced, and all the tales somehow linked to one another. Touching upon the Islamic culture, the audacity and destruction of racial slurs, the MeToo movement, the loss of family and the difference in treatment between black and white females in a professional setting, “LINES” was able to sprinkle each prevalent issue into 90 minutes.

Though each difficulty was addressed through the diverse narratives, there was no specific solution or ending to the narratives, and story after story, I hastily wondered how each movement connected to the next. However, rather than trying to interpret what each detail of the play meant, I realized I must reflect on the show as a whole. It then hit me: each story was unfinished in the show because in reality all of these issues and tragedies are still occurring today. There is no fairytale ending to the hardships people of color have encountered, no termination to sexual violence and no closure to a family member’s death.

“LINES” was a way for each actress to become an incitement of change for the undeniable tragedies that females of color have faced and still face today. Beginning the show with an innocent girl singing childhood songs, was an effective metaphor for young people to take these stories and tragedies and finish them once and for all — with change.

Reaching an understanding regarding the unfinished issues that are unfortunately so apparent today, I was able to leave the Overture Center with ambition and hope, the same amount the six talented women brought to the stage. This overwhelmingly powerful performance closes Sunday, April 29, and I wholeheartedly believe each person in Madison should be educated on the lines in life that should never be crossed again.

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