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Citizen: An American Lyric

Claudia Rankine, adapted for the stage by Stephen Sachs
ISBN: 978-0-8222-3837-9
Full Length, Drama
3 men, 3 women
Total Cast: 6, Flexible Set
FEE: $100 per performance.
THE STORY: A provocative meditation on race, fusing prose, poetry, movement, music, and the visual image. A lyric poem, snapshots, vignettes, on the acts of everyday racism. Remarks, glances, implied judgments. Some of these encounters are slights, seeming slips of the tongue, and some are intentional offensives in the classroom, at the supermarket, at home, on the tennis court with Serena Williams and the soccer field with Zinedine Zidane, online, on TV—everywhere, all the time. Those did-that-really-just-happen-did-they-really-just-say-that slurs that happen every day and enrage in the moment and later steep poisonously in the mind. And, of course, those larger incidents that become national or international firestorms. As Rankine writes, “This is how you are a citizen.”
“[CITIZEN] glides down its own lyrical path with beguiling confidence. …it’s a stirring tribute to an American poet who deserves a wider readership. …The work, in short, has gotten under my skin, which is a testament to its power.” —LA Times. “…powerful… takes a cold, hard look at more subtle, possibly even subconscious, acts of racism. …CITIZEN invites its audience to see individual acts through the prism of a lifetime of racism, and glimpse the soul-crushing pain that they cause.” — “Rankine’s perceptions contain an astonishing universality… adaptor Stephen Sachs deftly selects, edits and organizes Rankine’s words (every of them hers, he professes) into something that…indubitably comprises a transcendent theatrical experience.” —