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During an online session, writer-director Hassan El-Amin (top left) speaks to actors Elizabeth
Heflin (top center) and Rene Thornton Jr. (top right), both REP company members, and (bottom row, from left) guest actor Toni Martin, REP member Stephen Pelinski and UD student
is often a difficult subject for people to talk about, but University of
Delaware actor, writer and director Hassan
El-Amin thinks that using music and humor can help ease the way to productive
showcases that approach in Talk About Race, an original audio production
he wrote and directed, which UD’s Resident Ensemble Players (REP) will perform in February for its world premiere. The
production will stream online, at no cost, from Friday, Feb. 5, to Sunday, Feb.
28, coinciding with Black History Month.
are in their own corners, their own world” when it comes to the subject of
race, said El-Amin, who is a REP company member and a UD alumnus. “I think
music and humor is a way to get in. This production is part sketch comedy,
part satire, part history and part music.”
is designed to be fast-moving, engaging and thought-provoking as it takes
an unflinching look at current racial relations in America and provokes a
range of emotions from amusement to outrage. It offers a mix
of vignettes, sketch comedy, obscure American history, rousing
contemporary and historical speeches and original musical numbers.
the music is especially important.
“Music allows for another way
of hearing because it dictates feeling,” he said. “Music can control your
emotions, and I look for that to happen.”
Talk About Race is the first production this semester in the REP’s 2020-21 season
and continues the imaginative audio performances the company has been offering
to adapt to the restrictions of the COVID pandemic. It also premieres at a time
of pronounced racial tensions in America.
"We want to examine this heavy subject in a way that actually makes a difference," El-Amin said.
Talk About Race will be available for streaming through the REP’s website.
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The REP is a professional
theatre company at the University of Delaware. Its productions are supported in
part by a grant from the Delaware Division of the Arts in partnership with the
National Endowment for the Arts.
The spring semester of the REP’s 2020-21 audio season kicks
off with Talk About Race and continues with Arsenic and
Old Lace, which will begin streaming on Feb. 26, and The Poirot
Mysteries, a pair of productions adapted from Agatha Christie stories,
which will begin streaming on March 26 and April 23.
Article by College of Arts and Sciences communications staff
Published Jan. 28, 2021