Encore Michigan

Detroit Rep opens ‘Fairview’ for 6/3-7/31

Show Announcement June 03, 2022

DETROIT, MI–The Detroit Rep opens the Pulitzer-Prize winning play Fairview this weekend for an extendexd run.

Fairview revolves around the middle class, black American Frasier family who are getting ready to celebrate their Grandma’s birthday. Beverly needs everything to be perfect but Dayton has brought the wrong silverware, the carrots aren’t ready, the radio is playing up and Tyrone might not make it at all. You’d be forgiven for thinking that the headline of the play is a look behind the fourth wall at the workings of an ordinary middle class, black family but Fairview has so much more to offer.

The play is divided into three acts. Act one plays out the naturalistic family drama set in the family’s stylish and immaculate dining room. Beverly, the archetypal mother figure, is rushing around trying to make everything perfect, her husband Dayton is ‘helping’, Beverly’s sister Jasmine arrives and we feel the tension between them as they try not to parry, Keisha bounces in wanting Jasmine to help her convince her mum that she should take a gap year before college; kitchen sink drama that we can relate to in so many ways.

In act two the play takes a different track: the action from act one is repeated but the glitch in the radio provides a soundtrack where we hear a variety of white characters discussing what race they would be if they could choose. During their discussions we are party to a range of opinions and race-based stereotypes that highlight how pervasive these attitudes are, and how casually the characters discuss them is very poignant.

The final act provides a surprise ending for the audience.

n April 2019, Fairview won the 2019 Pulitzer Prize for Drama. The Pulitzer committee called the play “a hard-hitting drama that examines race in a highly conceptual, layered structure, ultimately bringing audiences into the actors’ community to face deep-seated prejudices.”

Week of 7/4/2022

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