A PITTSBURGH PREMIERE PRODUCTION
NOVEMBER 7-9 & 14-16 AT 7:30PM
NOVEMBER 10 & 17 AT 4:00PM
AT THE FATHER RYAN ARTS CENTER
Claudia Rankine’s first published play, The White Card, poses the essential question: Can American society progress if whiteness remains invisible?
Composed of two scenes, the play opens with a dinner party thrown by Virginia and Charles, an influential Manhattan couple, for the up-and-coming artist Charlotte. Their conversation about art and representations of race spirals toward the devastation of Virginia and Charles’s intentions. One year later, the second scene brings Charlotte and Charles into the artist’s studio, and their confrontation raises both the stakes and the questions of what―and who―is actually on display.
Rankine’s The White Card is a moving and revelatory distillation of racial divisions as experienced in the white spaces of the living room, the art gallery, the theater, and the imagination itself.
CONTENT ADVISORY: This show contains strong coarse language and covers themes of racism and violence, with specific reference to the murders of Michael Brown and Eric Garner. This content may not be appropriate for all audiences.
Claudia Rankine is the New York Times Bestselling author of Citizen: An American Lyric and four previous books, including Don’t Let Me Be Lonely: An American Lyric. Her work has appeared recently in the Guardian, the New York Times Book Review, the New York Times Magazine, and the Washington Post. She is a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets, the winner of the 2014 Jackson Poetry Prize, and a contributing editor of Poets & Writers. She received a MacArthur Fellowship in 2016. Rankine is the Frederick Iseman Professor of Poetry at Yale University.
"As an inquiry into structural racism and an interrogation of whiteness — or, as the play’s sole black character puts it, 'the ordinary complicity of white people' — 'The White Card' is a bracing experience that leaves you with plenty to think about." — Don AuCoin, The Boston Globe
“The ideas discussed in The White Card are always compelling. . . . The lines of an urgent debate are clearly and thoroughly drawn.” — Alisa Solomon, The Nation