LINES IN THE DUST
BY: Nikkole Salter
THE STORY: 2010, Essex County, NJ. When Denitra loses the
charter school lottery for her daughter, she must find another way
to escape from their underperforming neighborhood school. The
answer seems like a risk well worth taking, but may end up re-
quiring a bigger sacrifice than she ever could have imagined. Set
over a half-century after Brown Versus The Board of Education,
LINES IN THE DUST questions how far we've come and more importantly, where we go from here. (Luna Stage Commission)
2 Women, 1 Man
LINES IN THE DUST was commissioned by and received its world premiere at Luna Stage, October 9 - November 9 , 2014, directed by Reginald Douglas. For information, photos, videos, audio and links to reviews and press from the Luna Stage production, and other productions this play has had, click here. The New Normal Rep's virtual production, directed by Awoye Timpo played July 8 - August 8, 2021 online. The creative team is as follows:
Starring: (l to r) Lisa Rosetta Strum, Melissa Joyner, & Jeffrey Bean
Visual Tech Dir: Adriana Gaviria Multi Media Design: Afsoon Pajoufar
Costume Design: Qween Jean Sound Design: Stan Mathabane
Editor: Hiatt Woods Original Music: Alphonso Horne
LINKS TO PRESS & REVIEWS from the New Normal
By ______ - 07/20/2021
"The play gets to the emotional core of such legal presents, focusing on the human element. It all feels particularly pertinent in 2021 in regard to ongoing arguments across the US about teaching critical race theory in schools and the battle over voting rights. Somewhere up there, Wallace is smirking down on all of us."
By Eric George Tauber - 07/18/2021
"...given our COVID restrictions, this was the best remote production I've seen....I hope that professors of ethics and sociology take note of Lines in the Dust to spark serious discussions and a drive for genuine solutions."
By Aaron Krause - 07/09/2021
"Salter has written a tight, focused piece," and New Normal Rep's production to be, "riveting, thought-provoking, relatable drama,", with "fluid, well-paced direction,"and "performances as credible as they are intense..."
By Sandi Durell 07/09/2021
"Salter targets the fundamental problem of racial and economic inequality by establishing well drawn characters with clarity and specificity...Salter’s well-made play, directed with acute precision and nuance by Awoye Timpo and exceptionally performed by Joyner, Strum and Bean succeeds at this well-deserved revival. Salter goes far in revealing how “we got here” without reducing issues to the stereotypical political rhetoric roiling in our present day. ”
By Jonathan Mandell - 07/09/2021
"...the playwright manages largely to avoid turning “Lines in the Dust” into a mere polemic with a cardboard villain...Salter, who is best known as the Obie-winning co-author (along with Danai Gurira) of “In the Continuum,” a play about two Black women worlds apart who both contract HIV from their men, is adept at depicting Bev and Denitra as kindred spirits — united by race and gender and some common experience (Bev grew up in Newark public housing) but now separated by class. Aided by two fine performances, the two characters do not feel just like mouthpieces"
By Deb Miller - 07/08/2021
"Originally commissioned by Luna Stage to commemorate the 60th anniversary of Brown vs. Board of Education...its central themes remain hot-button topics today... The play and the actors effectively deliver that momentous message [that there is no simple or satisfying resolution in the ongoing movement toward equal opportunity and the shared quest to achieve the American dream], in a virtual production with top-notch technical direction by Ariana Gaviria and eating by Hiatt Woods."
By Jodie Jacobs - 07/08/2021
"Written by Pulitzer-Prize nominated and Obie winning actres/playwright Nikkole Salter, the work has historical and modern-day societal significance. Set against family hardships, it is an excellent story guaranteed to have a lasting impact on its viewers. Salter's writing always hits its note to form a very powerful and touching story."
By Talaura Harms - 07/08/2021
"This play is about belonging. Who belongs where, and who has access? I was inspired by the intersection between the institution of education, the role that it plays in the American Dream, segregation, housing, and economic mobility. All of these issues are a part of the American conversation, yet have not made it to the forefront of our storytelling. We all need to challenge ourselves and recognize our own roles in these long-standing dynamics," Salter said in a statement. "What would it look like to invest in every child as if every child could be the steward of your future?"
IN THE CONTINUUM
LINES IN THE DUST
REPAIRING A NATION