The Westfield Voice

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The Westfield Voice

The Westfield Voice

“What Life Matters” : An “On Campus” Review

The poster for “What Life Matters”. Image source: WSU Theatre Arts Program Facebook page.

Westfield State’s Theatre Arts Program took a new direction this fall with a play titled “What Life Matters” by Michael Hagins. An interesting experience held for all as this was a workshop type experience, as they took a play that is still in drafting and got to work closely with the playwright as the playwright’s words came to life. This was a first for Westfield State’s Theater Arts program!

The show took place on November 18-21, 2020. The show had 5 showings, but because of Covid-19 and 2020’s unpredictability the show was unable to be performed live over zoom.

Instead, they pieced together recordings from Monday and Tuesday’s dress rehearsals to give us a great performance despite the situation they were stuck in. 

The show follows four friends- David, Candace, Britney, and Alex- and the encounters of racism they meet every day in their lives. We see David, a black man, face racism from his boss at work. Candace, a black woman, faces racism in her relationship with her girlfriend as well as in a job interview. We meet Brittany, an Asian actress, who faces racism due to the pandemic as well as racism in her audition. Then finally, Alex faces racism within her college class.

All four stories intertwine to bring awareness to racism and discrimination in the workplace, within history classes, and the internal bias that many people have with their upbringing and refuse to change.

 The play within every scene connects to a monologue based on some point in history: A slave owner and a slave, a white governor at the formation of our country, etc. The connections between the modern-day and history to me, made the show. It opens your eyes to how you can claim so much has changed but in the end, there are still people with that much hate in their hearts.

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