Body Politic Theatre
June 16 – July 19, 1987
By Charles Smith
Directed by Nick Faust
Roles: Father, Yam Seller
“Johnny Lee Davenport is especially good as the wizened old yam seller.”
—Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times (June 19, 1987)
“Pat Bowie, Michael E. Myers and Johnny Lee Davenport, all dressed in white, shift smoothly from one role to another, as her mother, grandmother, uncle, friends, lover, the police, etc.
sssssThe folk tales Takunda’s grandmother tells her are charmingly enacted by the players in a story theater fashion, and the performances throughout almost make one forget the clichés of character and situation that the play embraces.”
—Richard Christiansen, Chicago Tribune (June 20, 1987)
“In its outpouring of new, short theater pieces, Play Expo has found over a dozen strange bedfellows, sharing nothing but the same stage. In Shorts #1, the clear favorite is the most ambitious work, Charles Smith’s Takunda.
sssssBut Takunda is more than just one more third-world tragedy. Smith’s poetry ennobles every survivor and every fatality–Takunda’s frightened mother and fable-spinning grandmother (Pat Bowie), her self-serving lover (Michael E. Myers), and particularly her father (Johnny Lee Davenport)–whom she loses sooner than anyone so young can ever be ready for. In a gripping scene, Takunda finds herself torn from dreaming that she finally told her father goodbye–and Hardy is simply heartbreaking.”
—Lawrence Bommer, Chicago Reader (July 2, 1987)