photo courtesy of Azuka Theatre
Currently on at Azuka Theatre is the gripping A Hit Dog Will Holler by playwright Inda Craig-Galván and directed by Azuka’s new Co-Artistic Director Reva Stover. The performance is a Philadelphia premiere and New Professionals Production that calls out the racism and unjust treatment of people that floods our news feeds every day.
The two-person show stars Jessica Johnson as Gina, a popular online political and social influencer/podcaster, and Adaeze Nwoko as Dru, a leading community activist who likes to stay off the radar as much as possible. When the two finally meet, unconventionally, they are forced to reevaluate how legitimate they really are to their followers and how they can face their fears together. Both Johnson and Nwoko give raw, emotional performances as they unfold the pressures of existing in America while Black. People look to them for guidance, for what to do next. The pressure comes closer and closer to their doors (our doors), it’s louder and louder. For Gina and Dru, the outside world both on and off screen gets to be too much to handle. But can they really turn their backs on what’s happening around them, when thousands of people actually rely on them for answers? For the next step?
The set, from Philly based scenic designer Stephen Wiseley, makes audiences feel like they are trapped inside the apartment with the two actors. The concept works well with the plot. We can’t escape and we’re waiting for someone to tell us what to do. But why? Can’t we take the lead? Can’t we use our voices to shut down the monsters out there?
A Hit Dog Will Holler runs through November 20th. It’s an incredibly captivating show with powerful performances and a plot that’s very, very real. Azuka Theatre is always “pay what you decide” after you see the show, so make a reservation and experience the story before it closes.