|Peter Christian Hansen and Sara Marsh (photo by Allen Weeks)
|Darrick Mosley and Dame-Jasmine
Hughes (photo by Allen Weeks)
Both acts take place on the same set (designed by Maruti Evans, who also designed the set for The Ballad of Emmett Till), in what looks like a courthouse with walls covered with words about the case. Eight hats hang on one wall over two rows of empty chairs, like the ever present invisible jury. The first act set is dominated by a heavy wooden table, the second act adds a bed, and both feature detailed props and on-stage changes of the muted period costumes (props design by Abnee Warmboe, costumes designed by Mathew LeFebvre). Several period TVs are placed around the set, which display actual footage or photos from the events, or subtle hints at the setting (projections design by Kathy Maxwell).
Benevolence is a beautifully written play(s), telling two related but very different intimate stories at the center of this national tragedy. It's beautifully directed by Talvin Wilks (the Twin Cities Theater Bloggers' favorite director of 2018), and just impeccably designed and acted by the company. It's a heavy play, but important in understanding the racially motivated violence and hate crimes that we're still dealing with today. I'm looking forward to seeing the third part of the trilogy, That Summer in Sumner, someday in the not too distant future.