Ahmed tells us his story in his own voice, beginning with almost flunking out of Trinity College in the '90s. But thanks to some caring teachers and a lot of hard work and passion, he not only graduated, but found his voice as a writer. While struggling to buy food, do his school work, and make peace with his roommate, Ahmed is also dealing with troubles back home in Somalia, including phone calls from his brother about their ailing mother, and news of his general cousin's injuries. But Ahmed stays focused, finally accomplishing his goal and eventually making his way to Minnesota.
|Ahmed (M. Hajji Ahmed) with Camel (Tracey Maloney) and|
Owl (Mikell Sapp, photo by Scott Pakudaitis)
|Ahmed (M. Hajji Ahmed) is visited by Maya Angelou|
(Ashawnti Sakina Ford, photo by Scott Pakudaitis)
Joel Sass has created a beautiful set on which the lighting (designed by Michael Wangen) and videos (designed by Kathy Maxwell) play out, providing a warm atmosphere for the story. What looks like a large round drum, that at times represents the sun or the moon, dominates the stage, with a streak of white fabric squares above it, provide the backdrop for videos of Ahmed's homeland. The stage is populated with a few natural looking shelves and stools that blend the outdoors with the college setting.
A Crack in the Sky is a charming new play, with disarming performances that will put you inside the immigrant experience without even realizing it. This is a play that's easy to watch, that brings joy, and hopefully also brings understanding of people with experiences different from our own. Continuing through March 4.
*Harrison David Rivers is the hot new playwright in #TCTheater this year. This is the first full production of a play he's written that I've seen, but not the last. He wrote the book for the new musical Five Points, premiering at Theater Latte Da this spring, and his play This Bitter Earth will be produced at Penumbra Theatre, also this spring. And if you need more Harrison David Rivers, you can attend a free reading of his new play the bandaged place at the Playwrights' Center in April.