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Comedy that Confronts Racial Slurs
Location: Decker Theatre, Gibson Center for the Arts
CHESTERTOWN, MD—On Wednesday evening, September 16, at 7:00 p.m., Washington College will host a free performance of the provocatively titled comedic play “N*gger, Wetb*ck, Ch*nk” in Decker Theatre of the Gibson Center for the Arts. The popular show, which deals with racism head-on and with humor, has toured to more than 100 college campuses. One critic described it as “getting over racism 101.”
The show was written and originally performed by Miles Gregley, Rafael Agustin, and Allan Axibal. The trio members, each a part of an ethnic group insulted in the show’s title, met and became close friends while attending college in the Los Angeles area. The play arose from their personal experiences with racism. While Agustin continues to perform in the show, other actors have stepped into the other roles.
“NWC” uses its humor to get the audience comfortable enough to consider uncomfortable topics. Axibal told The New York Times, “If we’ve been called these words, then we have the right to confront them. That’s what the show is about.”
Not surprisingly, the production has faced pushback in many of the places it has toured based on the provocative title alone. In the same piece for The New York Times, Agustin said, “The N.A.A.C.P. and the neo-Nazis are ticked off at us? We sure are bringing people together.”
The Washington College presentation of “NWC” will mark National Hispanic Heritage Month and will be accompanied by dialogue groups on September 15 at 5:00 p.m. and September 16 at 9:00 p.m. in the Egg, an intimate venue inside Hodson Hall Commons. Assistant Professor of Spanish Elena Deanda, Director of the Black Studies Program, said “NWC” examines racial slurs and social prejudices by naming them and performing them in an irreverent way. “We are bringing this play to campus as an educational tool for engaging difficult conversations of race,” she added.
Sponsors of the event include The Black Studies program, the Department of Theatre and Dance, the Department of Modern Languages, the Gibson-Wagner Psychology Fund, the William James Forum, and the Goldstein Program for Public Affairs.