Home / Events / Theater / The Submission

The Submission

REBECCA JACOBSON
7:30 pm Thursdays-Sundays through Nov. 23., Friday November 22 | $15-$25 sliding scale, Thursdays and Sundays are "pay what you can."
The Back Door Theater
4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
 
“It’s only a bullet if you load the gun with it,” says Danny, a playwright. He’s referring to the N-word, but he might as well be describing the shortcomings of The Submission, a play by Jeff Talbott. The story has plenty of ammo: It centers on Danny, a gay white playwright who has written a moving drama about a black family in the projects and, in a bid to increase its chances of being produced, has submitted it under the patently ridiculous pseudonym of Shaleeha G’ntamobi. When the play is actually accepted at a theater festival, Danny enlists a black actress to pose as the playwright. The bullets—all the racial and homophobic slurs you’d expect, pitched during debates about who corners the market on oppression—are there. What’s missing is the gun: a robust dramatic framework to give those munitions any firepower. Absent that, Defunkt Theatre’s season opener winds up talky but toothless. At the beginning, Danny (Matthew Kern) is buoyant and hopeful. But as the play clumps along, he proves to be an utterly callous, out-of-touch, racist lout. Talbott provides no reason for Danny’s outrageous insensitivity, and Kern’s oily and arrogant portrayal hardly helps. Other performers fare better, particularly Matthew Dieckman, who is honest, wry and grounded as Danny’s good friend. But the entire cast is hampered by Talbott’s script. From a nonsensical line about Hitler eating kugel to racist remarks that fail to add anything new to the conversation about race in American theater (“He’s too African-y,” Danny says about an actor), The Submission has plenty of talk but astonishingly little to say.

Where: The Back Door Theater
Address: 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd.
Website: http://defunktheatre.com/home.html

 
 
Other events in Theater

Camerata PYP

Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

[FORWARD-LOOKING MUSIC] One of Portland Youth Philharmonic’s biggest contributions to music in general and Portland in particular is that it trains its top-notch you ...

4 pm Sunday, April 26. | $15 advance, $20 day of show.
Wieden & Kennedy Building 224 NW 13th Ave. Map

Soul Harmony

Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

In the late 1940's, America's music profile was shifting from Ellington and Sinatra to a little something called R&B. The movement largely rode on the soul-wrenching ballads of a black Baltimor ...

7:30 pm Thursday-Friday, 2 pm and 7:30 pm Saturday, 2 pm Sunday through May 3. | $29.65-$43.95
Brunish Theatre 1111 SW Broadway Portland Map

Suddenly Last Summer

Sunday, Apr 26, 2015

Stark, torrid and lyrical, Tennessee Williams’ 1958 one-act examines the aftermath of an American boy’s mysterious death in Spain. That tragic event left his cousin prone to insane babbling, wh ...

7:30 pm Thursdays-Saturdays and 5 pm Sundays through May 2 | $10-$25, free for ages 19 and under
Shaking the Tree 823 SE Grant Ave. Portland Web | Map
Also At The Back Door Theater

The Undiscovered Country

Friday, May 08, 2015

Ambitious young playwright D.C. Copeland moved to Portland from New York a year ago, and this marks the first local production of one of her full-length works. Made up of three interwoven stories a ...

7:30 pm Thursdays-Sundays through June 13 | “Pay what you can” Thursdays-Sundays; $15-$25 sliding scale Fridays-Saturdays
The Back Door Theater 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Web | Map

The Undiscovered Country

Saturday, May 09, 2015

Ambitious young playwright D.C. Copeland moved to Portland from New York a year ago, and this marks the first local production of one of her full-length works. Made up of three interwoven stories a ...

7:30 pm Thursdays-Sundays through June 13 | “Pay what you can” Thursdays-Sundays; $15-$25 sliding scale Fridays-Saturdays
The Back Door Theater 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Web | Map

The Undiscovered Country

Sunday, May 10, 2015

Ambitious young playwright D.C. Copeland moved to Portland from New York a year ago, and this marks the first local production of one of her full-length works. Made up of three interwoven stories a ...

7:30 pm Thursdays-Sundays through June 13 | “Pay what you can” Thursdays-Sundays; $15-$25 sliding scale Fridays-Saturdays
The Back Door Theater 4319 SE Hawthorne Blvd. Web | Map
  • Currently 3.5/5 Stars.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
comments powered by Disqus
 

Web Design for magazines

Close
Close
Close