"Aren't we lucky to have found a line of work that doesn't require growing up?"
-Dick Van Dyke
"Not impossible, just a bit unlikely"
"Shouting Down a Quiet Life" Review
By Doug Sturdivet
"In February 1968, South Carolina State Highway Patrolmen in Orangeburg, SC, shot into a group of
unarmed black college students who were protesting local segregation with a bonfire on their campus. Three young men were killed and 28 were injured. This was two years before Kent State, but the incident got very little media coverage and was largely forgotten. Today it is known as the Orangeburg Massacre.
My thoughts on the Texas Nonprofit Theatres New Play Project Winner, Shouting Down a Quiet Life by Holli Harms...or Quietly making a big important noise at Rover Dramawerks.
Mercedes Michelle Arndt as Young Emmett’s white girlfriend, Mary Iron, will simply astound you. Every look, every movement is just right. She’s tough, vulnerable, girlish, and mature simultaneously. Her monologue that closes the play in which she relives the night of the Orangeburg Massacre is almost Shakespearean in power. Quite an achievement for someone just out of college.
Shouting Down a Quiet Life shines a strong and unflinching light on an ugly episode of racism in America. It forces you to consider difficult issues, but does so without preaching. It is a story of tragedy and hope that is beautifully told, consummately acted, and profoundly touching. Shouting Down a Quiet Life is a puzzle you will be very glad you put together."
"Mary Iron, whom we see mostly in the year 1968, is playful and coquettish, that is when she is not justifiably furious at the racist reverend’s command that the congregation pray for a segregated bowling alley. A bowling alley needs prayers? Mary is disgusted. The writing here is clever in revealing the sheer idiocy of the segregationists, and Michelle does a good job with the material. Michelle also does a good job with a soliloquy describing a young girl’s dilemma during a bloody scene at the hospital where Mary works as a nurse.
This world premiere of Shouting Down a Quiet Life only extends through December 14, so get your tickets now. The themes are timely. The storyline is compelling. And, the performances are truly memorable. I recommend this production for fans of meaningful, dramatic live theater."