• Amy Toledano


Updated: Jul 18, 2020

What is it?

BLACK WOMEN DATING WHITE MEN is an online play, in the form of vignette monologues, based on the writer's (Somebody Jones) own experiences. The play presents itself as a full Zoom production as a part of Hollywood Fringe’s Virtual Festival.

What is it about?

BLACK WOMEN DATING WHITE MEN is about exactly what you think: strong, beautiful, confident black women and their experiences dating white men. The five women cast give personal interviews about their individual experiences dating white men. While watching this online in what looks like a big group video chat, it is easy to imagine if it were on stage each woman would be standing or sitting with their individual spotlight, and recounting their stories in the same way. The talented cast is composed of women with different backgrounds, some American, some British, some American living in England, and some are mixed race. As a viewer, this allows for a broader conversation which offers many more experiences. They cover topics of activism, privilege, and the 'mystery of headscarves'. The key take away from this production is that it celebrates love in all of its forms. 

How did it make me feel?

I must admit, it feels very nuanced watching a Zoom play. The way the women (Christelle Belinga, Arianne Carless, Merryl Ansah, Clara Emanuel, Risha Silvera) portray their characters on video chat is so natural that I feels as if I am eavesdropping on a private friend's chat! While I appreciate finding this new medium in times of lockdown and COVID-19, it is more difficult to connect with the medium as a means of theatre. 

That being said, the content is incredibly relevant, especially at the height of the Black Lives Matter movement. What I find effective about this script is that it is honest and doesn't have an agenda. It is simply five women chatting, trying to connect and find a new community outside of their societal norms. 

Additionally, I think this play opens a window for people to take a glimpse into other communities and experiences. As previously stated, the play does not have an agenda, and it is the conversational tone of the play that is welcoming to those who need to unlearn and relearn about race and inter-racial relationships. 

Anything else?

An insightful piece that will be more effective on stage and raise the stakes. 

Natasha x

BLACK WOMEN DATING WHITE MEN was performed in the Hollywood Fringe Festival online until the 12th July 2020.

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