I knew it was coming. She had enthralled me all night, but I knew her work was not done. I knew she needed to add a coda to her beautifully orchestrated performance. As she ascended that chair and began her passionate speech on the journey of the African woman, she truly enraptured the entire audience. Looking around the theatre, I could see that everyone was at the edge of their seats, completely engrossed by Abigail’s (Danai Gurira) speech, which summed up the fear, frustration, and fury that is masterfully contained in In the Continuum.
In the Continuum is a fiercely acted, moving, taut socio-political drama, which skillfully makes its point without alienating its audience. In fact, although the story is about two black women (one African-American, one Zimbabwean), the show’s message is accessible to all. Written by Gurira and Nikkole Salter, the show concerns two black women, Abigail & Nia, coping with the modern pandemic of HIV infection amongst that demographic. The story begins on the day they find out they have tested positive for the disease and traces the events that unfurl as each of the ladies attempts to deal with the news in their own distinct culture, which we come to realize share more similarities than differences. Under the direction of John O’Hara, the women embrace and become different characters throughout the night; some which make you laugh, others which make you think, and still those which bring tears to your eyes. Salter brings a brilliant comedic edge to the production that keeps it less heavy, but it is Gurira whose performance is both ravishing and dynamic. The actress has such skill that it would be blasphemous for her not to become legendary.
The Bottom Line: For an intelligent glimpse into the tragedy occurring both at home and abroad, it is your duty to see In the Continuum.
According to Lincoln Center's new LCT3 project at its slogan, it takes "New Audiences for New Artists." It also takes new critics, hence the establishment of Theater Talk's New Theater Corps in 2005, a way for up-and-coming theater writers and eager new theatergoers to get exposure to the ever-growing theater scene in New York City. Writers for the New Theater Corps are given the opportunity to immerse themselves in the off-off and off-Broadway theater scene, learning and giving back high-quality reviews at the same time. Driven by a passion and love of the arts, the New Theater Corps aims to identify, support, and grow the arts community, one show and one person at a time.