Mar 14, 2024
-
Mar 31, 2024

American Rot

Written by Kate Taney Billingsley
Directed by Estelle Parsons

a black arrow pointing downward

Set in a diner off the New Jersey turnpike, two historically-linked American families explore the roots of their trans-generational trauma through difficult conversations on racism and white supremacy. Stricken with guilt, Jim Taney, a descendant of Chief Justice Roger Brooke Taney, who penned the infamous Dred Scott decision of 1857, offers an apology to the family of Walter Scott, a descendant of the formerly enslaved Dred Scott. Walter, and a Chorus of other characters, investigate why an apology alone will not absolve Jim. As protest theater, the play confronts the concept of white “wokeness”, the boundaries of white liberalism, and unveils the shared national consequences of white supremacy; serving as an entryway into a dialogue on reparations.

Writer: Kate Taney Billingsley
Music: Kate Taney Billingsley, Tyler Bernhardt, and Dag Markhus
Director: Estelle Parsons
Executive Producers: Richard D’Avino and Pamela Murphy
Associate Producer: Myla Pitt
Choreographer: William Whitener
Set Designer: Christine Weppner
Lighting Designer: Victor En Yu Tan


Captioning is being provided, in part, by a grant from NYSCA/TDF TAP Plus.

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