Upcoming Events

3/Fifths

The Traveling Minstrel Show



written by James Scruggs
directed by Mark Rayment

Boston Center for the Arts
439 Tremont Street
Boston, MA

November 3–5 and 9–11, 2017

3/Fifths: The Traveling Minstrel Show is an intimate stage experience, performed by four actors, enlisting video, song, dance, humor and beauty, all aimed at the audience to implicate them in an examination of race and racism.

Minstrel shows were created to entertain white audiences. Initially, they were performed by white men in blackface, depicting humorous degrading caricatures of “blackness.” Later black performers in blackface began performing ‘blackness’ as perceived by white people. Finally, black people performed “authentic blackness” for integrated audiences but still from behind the mask of blackface.

A minstrel show is a wonderful lens through which to examine and perform “blackness” and “whiteness,” race and racism. The Traveling Minstrel Show will explore the disturbing contemporary perception that the hyper-sexualized black male is inherently dangerous, and that it is acceptable to continue government sanctioned killings with only the slightest motivation.