Quinnipiac University’s Theater for Community presented “Whitewashed: The Rough Draft” this weekend at Long Wharf Theater’s Stage II.
The show visited the different prejudices that are experienced in our world today while emphasizing that despite those differences, we all have commonalities.
“Whitewashed: The Rough Draft” was a collaborative writing effort among Dr. Crystal Brian, chair of the visual and performing arts department and director of the play, as well as the various members of the cast. The production focused on the often everyday discrimination against homeless, black, homosexual, Hispanic and disabled (both mentally and physically) people.
Monologues and dialogues, performed by the cast members that were often true stories involving them, were the main component of the play. News stories and situations from around the world were also used in the process.
The cast members felt those situations fit with their personal experiences, and they wrote something based on that, according to Jamie Palatini, a member of the cast.
“The writing experience was very intense,” Palatini said. “This was the first time I was really involved in anything that was so collaborative. We all had a hand in nearly every aspect of the production, so I certainly took a great deal of pride in the success of the show.”
A chalkboard is one of the most important props for the play. As the cast members sit around the stage and finish delivering their stories, a word is usually written on the chalkboard: “slut,” “bum,” “loser,” “b****,” as well as the n-word and other derogatory terms used to label someone who is “different” and a target of prejudice.
Another important aspect of the production was the utilization of white masks by the cast, which served a few purposes. According to Palatini, one of those reasons was that the cast, was not very diverse. The masks allowed the cast to represent anyone.
They were also used to represent an outsider, giving an impression that they were all against one particular person.
“We felt like the masks represent how people act in real life on a daily basis. By that, I mean that people put on a fa