BY: Nikkole Salter
THE STORY: 2001. The Davis family meets for what should be
a fun holiday season in their native Tulsa,OK. But when Lois
insists the family join a class-action law suit for reparations,
old family wounds are ripped open and we discover that the
government isn't the only one being asked to apologize. 80 years after the Tulsa Race Riots, REPAIRING A NATION explores the complexity of inherited wounds, the nature of apology and the possibility of reconciliation.
Full Length, Two Act
3 Women, 2 Men
REPAIRING A NATION received Honorable Mention on the Killroy's 2015 second annual edition of "The List," an initiative designed to promote gender parity in the production of theatre in the U.S.
Graphic by Amie Bajalieh
REPAIRING A NATION received a first production at Crossroads Theatre Company in New Brunswick, NJ, Feb. 26 - Mar. 8, 2015 directed by Producing Artistic Director, Marshall Jones, III. That same production was featured at the National Black Theatre Festival August 6 -8, 2015 and taped for PBS Thirteen's Theater Close-Up series (Season 2, Episode 4), streamed online and broadcast beginning February 18, 2016. This production was named one of New Jersey's Top Theatre Productions in 2015 by NJArts.net.
For information on the ETA Creative Arts production in Chicago,
Lighting Design: Jeff Carr Scenic Design: Gennie Neuman
Costume Design: Sasha Corrodus-Odom Sound Design: Matt Bittner
Projection Design: Alana Peters Fight Director: Rick Sordelet
ASM/Props: Sadae Hori Assistant Director: Adriana Santana
Assistant Director: Bintu Conteh Stage Manager: Karen Parlato
LINKS to PRESS and REVIEWS from CROSSROADS THEATRE Production
By: Ronni Reich 03/10/2015
"Repairing a Nation," an ambitious new play...In maintaining some lightness and focusing on family, the play becomes relatable rather than didactic as it asks difficult questions...Salter addresses worthy issues in an accessible way..."
By: Marina Kennedy 03/05/2015
"An absolutely superb play... Each and every moment of the show is entrancing, a complex yet entertaining family drama with style and meaning. It is a story for the ages...Salter's script is skillfully written...While profiling their trials with drama, heart and the right dose of humor, Salter also reveals the complexity of social disorder."
By: Bob Brown 03/05/2015
"Nikkole Salter's powerful drama... is a lesson in history and humanity... This is a very involving play and an important one. For all that, Ms. Salter’s work both educates and entertains superbly....Ms. Salter’s characters are complex and believable. No one is a paragon of virtue or a complete villain...The dialogue is at times funny and confrontational. Ms. Salter’s characters step on each others’ lines and leave the tail ends of sentences adrift, just as in real conversations...in shocking, explosive moments truths are spoken and tempers flare."
By: JAY LUSTIG 03/05/2015
"Don’t be fooled by the title: This is not a dry political dissertation. It’s a dynamic drama...Salter pulls off a delicate balancing act. She introduces the basic theme of reparations and then shows how it applies to these characters in so many different ways. But on another level, she’s just telling the story of a family’s rocky holiday gathering. Nothing seems contrived or forced."
By: Simon Saltzman 03/04/2015
"Salter... has written this play to dramatically expand upon an actual congressional bill that has never made it to committee, despite the fact that it is proposed year after year. How great for Salter that her plays do make it past committee and get onto the stage..."
By: Lennon Perricone 03/01/2015
"Nikkole Salter’s compelling storyline, flowing dialogue, historical knowledge and well-drawn characters reminded the audience that both the parlor drama and the family drama are still relevant to the American Stage."
By: Brittany Anicetti on June 26, 2015
“I used the [Tulsa Race Riot] as the context for the play in order to explore reparations, inherited wounds and the nature of relationship between apology and reconciliation,” Salter says. “I want [the audience] to have the riot brought to their awareness as an important part of the American historical narrative. I also would like for them to consider why the topic of reparations is so complex."
By: Anthony Stoeckert 02/25/2015
"I like things to sound the way people actually speak,” she says. “I love poetry, I really do... But I find when I start to write a play, I tend to be most drawn in when people sound like they actually sound. The structure of the overlapping has to do with how those conversations actually sound."
By: Charles Paolino 02/20/2015
"But, Salter said, "Reparations isn't [only] about retribution or the logistics of property value. It's really about acknowledging someone's point of view — that the way you see things is the way they were, and the way they were was hurtful. Sometimes that's the hardest thing to say."
By: SANDRA LANMAN 02/20/2015
"Salter’s drama offers the Tulsa race riots’ complicated place in history as a counterweight to a family’s anguished debate over its own buried history. Above all a family drama, “Repairing a Nation” explores the nature of apology and inherited wounds; forgiveness, fairness, justice and healing within a family and a people."
By: Mariana Kennedy 02/17/2015
"We asked Salter about her earliest interest in theater. "Tell me about your earliest interest in the theater." I first became interested in theatre as a child to prevent my mom from putting me in another sports activity. I'm tall, and my mom figured I'd have a good chance at a sports scholarship for college if she groomed me in basketball or volleyball or softball or gymnastics, or soccer. I would cringe at the sight of a ball."
By: TapInto Staff 02/08/2015
“Nikkole Salter is a truly gifted writer who immerses herself in subjects and distills them in such a way as to uncover a unique and compelling story,” said [Marshall] Jones. “In Repairing a Nation, she grabs the controversial subject of reparations and, cleverly using metaphors as well as recognizable characters, conducts a fierce debate in a compelling style reminiscent of August Wilson.”
Nikkole was interviewed by Shellie Gaines for The Gist of Freedom BlogRadio. Discussion about Repairing a Nation begins at 13:36.