What's it about?
The play is about six African Americans who wants to experience freedom and, as a result, take a test to join the Tuskegee Air Force. Being that it is World War II and racism is pretty prevalent, these men encountered prejudice before and after receiving their wings. But nothing would stop them from being airmen.
What'd I experience?
We all have limits, but we determine where those limits start and end.
This play demonstrated a spirit of persistence and passion. I admired the life and story behind each character. While waiting to take the test to join the Air Force, the men shared their names and where they were from. They waited for hours in a cold room far away from home. They left behind their family and friends. But they were determined to gain their wings. These men were educated and they knew exactly what would make them happy - freedom. It was just last week I was expressing to my mom that I needed space, to breathe a little. And what I meant was - I wanted a type of freedom that would allow me to do what I wanted without any question. These men wanted freedom - a type that would allow them to just be people - accepted and honored.
Within the audience were a group of high school juniors and seniors taking a trip to visit historically black colleges. Their group leader expressed that this trip was for them to gain knowledge on culture and what African Americans have had to do to move forward. In essence, I guess it was like encouragement for the future.
These men learned how to be a family as they watched each other's backs. They worked together and fought together in the air. There was Quentin who continuously talked about his girl he left at home, who was heartbroken after she died giving birth to his son. Not long after he died in airstrike. Very sad. Quentin suffered seizures but he didn't let that stop him from being bold and outgoing. He documented the lives and story of those he met and all that was happening. I loved how he was able to walk in the room and there would be laughter, he took the seriousness away from the matter.
Jeremiah's character was tough. He had walls up all around him due to the fear of betrayal. From his character, the message of "people put walls up not to keep people away, but to see who would tear them down" came. His story was touching but sure enough Abraham, the skeptical one, made me laugh. Elijah was a living history book, very educated, he knew how to connect the sad moments to hopeful quotes. Everyone had something that made them special and that made them likable and more of a family.
The St. Luke's Theater was perfect, I thought. It made perfect sense that all the characters had names from the Bible and St. Luke's tied into that. Inside I sat next to two older woman who shared their theater going experiences. Their story started with the chairs being too hard and the length of the show . But they have seen many performances and are still venturing out to more. They were admirable and were very much a part of my experience. They spoke with me during intermission and said that plays are getting a lot shorter, while I thought they were the same length as a movie (but in a sense better).