In the play Field of Souls, the Dixon family welcome their GI, Buddy, home following his tour in the Korean War. Buddy’s homecoming becomes a wakeup call when he realizes that his veteran status bears no significance in Chicago.
Race relations were hardly smooth in 1950s Chicago, the plays setting, but Field of Souls is more about family relations than race relations.
“I don’t audiences to focus on the racism. The play is about family and their relationships,” Runako Jahi, director of the play, told the Defender.
The Dixon family migrated from the oppressive South seeking a better life in Chicago.
While running a rooming house, sister Lillie Mae (Tina Wright) and brothers Lunie (Brandon Boler) and Mac (Justin Wade Wilson) are presented with the opportunity to raise their standard of living but Buddy (Armand Fields) is reluctant. He has to figure out his place in the world, and if the decision will compromise his most important relationship: his family. In the production, the family’s dignity is challenged.
“My inspiration, first and foremost, was my father, a courageous Korean War vet. Second, it has always been important to me that my children understand and know the history of their ancestors…the sacrifice, the will and the shoulders we stand upon today,” said Darlette McAlpin, who wrote the play.
Rounding the cast of Field of Souls is: Lisa Beasley and Semaj Miller.
The play runs through July 13 at eta Theater.
Copyright 2011 Chicago Defender