Manbites Dog Theater's The Overwhelming | Theater | Indy Week
Pin It

Manbites Dog Theater's The Overwhelming 

A Western outsider's take on the Rwandan genocide

click to enlarge Left to right: Linda (Hazel Edmond) learns the difference between Hutu and Tutsi from people in a Kigali market (Tim Garbinsky, Amaris Whitaker). - PHOTO BY JAY O'BERSKI
  • Photo by Jay O'Berski
  • Left to right: Linda (Hazel Edmond) learns the difference between Hutu and Tutsi from people in a Kigali market (Tim Garbinsky, Amaris Whitaker).

The Overwhelming

Manbites Dog Theater
Through April 4

The Overwhelming, which opened last weekend at Manbites Dog Theater, is a play about the Tutsi/ Hutu conflict. J.T. Rogers' script places the family of an improbably clueless political science professor in Kigali at the dawn of the Rwandan genocide. Chris Burner and Jeffrey Detwiler play jaded embassy and relief worker roles with gusto, and Byron Jennings II gives Rwandan bureaucrat Samuel Mizinga an unnerving combination of unction and immovable will. Rogers' script may ring with authenticity when it's focused on embassy-level chatter and a displaced American sense of entitlement in foreign countries, but the conflict between Michael O'Foghludha's professor Jack Exley and his son, Geoffrey (Michael Bergen), seem as contrived as the final confrontation in which the professor naturally has to choose between his family and Joseph Gasana (Thaddeus Edwards), a Tutsi doctor wanted by Hutu extremists. Though under Jay O'Berski's direction, O'Foghludha gets the sense of a character at loose ends, his character never believably cracks when first he and then his family are pushed to the extreme. At other points, admittedly difficult foreign accents torture actors including Wil Weldon and the audience. Though The Overwhelming's heart is in the right place, the script and production are still in need of aid.

  • Though The Overwhelming's heart is in the right place, the script and production are still in need of aid.

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

INDY Week publishes all kinds of comments, but we don't publish everything.

  • Comments that are not contributing to the conversation will be removed.
  • Comments that include ad hominem attacks will also be removed.
  • Please do not copy and paste the full text of a press release.

Permitted HTML:
  • To create paragraphs in your comment, type <p> at the start of a paragraph and </p> at the end of each paragraph.
  • To create bold text, type <b>bolded text</b> (please note the closing tag, </b>).
  • To create italicized text, type <i>italicized text</i> (please note the closing tag, </i>).
  • Proper web addresses will automatically become links.

Latest in Theater



Twitter Activity

Most Recent Comments

Great review! Fans of Decision Height and the Women's Theatre Festival may also want to check out The ArtsCenter's interview …

by The ArtsCenter on Superheroines Historical and Fantastical Power Two Memorable Women's Theatre Festival Shows (Theater)

Four of our friends accompanied us to this production. We have seen other Wendy Ward productions and loved them all …

by Gann Watson on Embark on a Timely Voyage Into Immigration Issues in I Wish You a Boat (Theater)

Thanks for the correction, Dustin. The playbill listed the wrong actor in the role.

by Byron Woods, INDY Theater and Dance Critic on Evaluating Bare Theatre's Experiment in Free Public Shakespeare on the Eve of Its Final Show (Theater)

The actor who portrays Proteus is Matt Fields.

by dkbritt85 on Evaluating Bare Theatre's Experiment in Free Public Shakespeare on the Eve of Its Final Show (Theater)

Added the website to the story, thanks for that.

by Brian Howe, INDY managing editor for arts & culture on The Triangle’s First Women’s Theatre Festival Takes Aim at Issues of Gender Parity (Theater)

Comments

Great review! Fans of Decision Height and the Women's Theatre Festival may also want to check out The ArtsCenter's interview …

by The ArtsCenter on Superheroines Historical and Fantastical Power Two Memorable Women's Theatre Festival Shows (Theater)

Four of our friends accompanied us to this production. We have seen other Wendy Ward productions and loved them all …

by Gann Watson on Embark on a Timely Voyage Into Immigration Issues in I Wish You a Boat (Theater)

Most Read

© 2016 Indy Week • 201 W. Main St., Suite 101, Durham, NC 27701 • phone 919-286-1972 • fax 919-286-4274
RSS Feeds | Powered by Foundation