The story centers on two sisters Racine and Anaia, twins, burned and scarred in a fire 18 years ago. A fire that they thought killed their mother, until Racine receives an unexpected letter. It seems mom (whom the twins refer to as God because she made them) survived but has been in a "home for the weary" ever since, and is now finally dying from the severe burns she suffered in the fire. She tells them the true story of the fire, and asks them for vengeance against the man responsible - their father. So begins their journey to find their father and avenge their mother. To say any more would spoil the play, which includes surprises and shocks from delightful to horrific. It's a wild and crazy ride unlike anything I've experienced at the theater.
|the scarred but strong sisters (Chaz Hodges and
Dame-Jasmine Hughes, photo by Rich Ryan)
|the twins visit their mother (yes that's Joy Dolo under there,
with Dame-Jasmine Hughes and Chaz Hodges,
photo by Rich Ryan
Is God Is is a shocking revenge fantasy in which we get to imagine just ends for abusers, bullies, those who prey on people smaller, weaker, less powerful than they are. As a practitioner of non-violence I do not advocate the actions of this play in real life, and honestly some of it was difficult to stomach even in a fantasy setting. But there is something cathartic in seeing people get what they deserve, in a world where powerful men rarely seem to. And despite the serious and even tragic events of this play, there is a fun energy to it, with cast members smiling and dancing at curtain call. It's a fine line to walk between comedy and tragedy, and this team does it beautifully.
Is God Is continues through October 14. I'll leave you with a quote from the director that describes it better than I can: "Is God Is explores the taboo of black female anger and the complexity of survival. It's terrifyingly funny and absurdly violent. It's about love and loyalty, sisterhood and rivalry."
This article also appears on Broadway World Minneapolis.