The New Colony Presents
Written by Loy Webb
Directed by Toma Langston
January 5 – February 4, 2018, at The Den Theatre
What happens when the person you are madly in love with doesn’t share the same ideals that you have? Or what do you do when there’s a big communication gap in your relationship, and you only realize it when you’re ready to spend the rest of your life with someone?
A newcomer to the scene, playwright Loy Webb has penned a new two-hander radical love story that is worth taking an in-depth, hard look into its powerful and alluring narrative. “The Light” is an outstanding marvelous stage play by New Colony that is instantly compelling and written to perfection. You will be hooked within minutes to its humorous storyline that dramatically unfolds into a graphic discussion on sexual violence, sexism, misogyny, male supremacy, race and gender, which is infused throughout the play. This play vividly discusses a pivotal, current drama that is unfolding today in America about how some men can abuse women and still be popular and become leaders within our society.
Webb takes us on a rollercoaster of emotions in this rarely told narrative in the theater world where we witness a young Black couple who are totally in love. Set in a condo in Chicago’s Hyde Park area, Rashad plans the perfect anniversary evening for his adored Genesis, the highly respected and awarded principal. They playfully discuss who will offer up the first gift. After Genesis gives Rashad his first present, he’s ready to spring into action with his impressive package of love that every woman desires after dating for some time.
Full of love and excitement about her surprise proposal from Rashad, Genesis receives another surprise– a shocking and unbelievable gift that she is not ready to deal with especially on the night of her engagement. She is amazed that he went to great lengths to bring about such a beautiful evening for them on their anniversary. However, the addition to this wonderful proposal dramatically changes Genesis viewpoint of Rashad and brings about past traumatic memories she never fully released from her soul.
As fears and past heartaches come to the forefront, they bicker about how they should spend their once-magical night together. Secrets and past pains seem to be derailing this love story, and the lack of being transparent with one another has become a deterring factor for them moving forward in their relationship.
Director Toma Langston gives us an explosive look into the heart of two people whose past lives are about to collide in the future. The newly engaged couple seem ready to take their relationship to the next level, when a deep, revealing conversation about the devastating effects of rape, culture and their different viewpoints regarding the subject forces them to confront catastrophic parts of their past, putting the future of their relationship at risk.
Genesis is not happy that Rashad doesn’t see things her way, and he being a former college star whose career was abruptly cut short by false accusations is not fully seeing things from her perspective. His life as a Chicago fireman is a far cry from the riches he imagined and being Black under fire daily via racist comments have made him choose someone that he believes has a vision, not knowing that he is about to be blindsided.
Genesis, who has dreamed of one day removing her blanket of security that has provided comfort for her hurt soul, feels betrayed by the person she thought was a dream man.
“The Light” is filled with romance, humor, love, pain, and heart-wrenching despair. This gripping drama asks the question: what are you willing to deal with to give and receive love?
Two of Chicago’s most effervescent rising actors Jeffery Owen Freelon Jr. (Rashad) and Tiffany Oglesby (Genesis) delighted us with their comedic timing and how they went effortlessly from love to laughter to take the audience to tears as we experienced their voyage of walking in their truth.
Playwright Loy Webb challenges us to think about how one surprise twist can change the fate of loving someone with no boundaries and makes you ask: what are you willing to forsake for love?
We highly recommend that you go and see “The Light” at The Den Theatre. Its 70 minutes of pure brilliance!
The cast includes:
Jeffery Owen Freelon Jr. (Rashad)
Tiffany Oglesby (Genesis)