Heavy Review Night 1

By Sara Wilson

     The play "Heavy" directed and co-directed by Denzel Smith and Nia McConnico, respectively, revolves around the King family, a working class African-American family living in East Chicago, Indiana.

     The first act introduces the early issues that plague the King family, beginning with the father "Christopher King" abandoning them after being laid off from his job.

     The scene opens with the mother "Rennae King" (Ashlyn Denson) having to explain to their three children, Chris King Jr.(oldest), Chrissy King (middle child), and Calvin King(youngest child) that their father has left the family. His departure means that the pressure of providing and being the man of the family belongs to the oldest son Chris King. To symbolize the change, Chris is rewarded with a hat that used to belong to his father. 

     The hat symbolizing the responsibility the father is passing down and how wearing that hat brought the same issues that plagued his father's downfall in the midst of leaving Rennae; alcoholism. As the play unfolds, we begin to see just how heavy it is for this boy to step into his fathers shoes and take on the role of being the man of the house. 

     The first act was originally previewed last spring 2019, but tonight students were able to see the full production, continuing where we left of in the spring semester.

     Tonight's performance attracted a sold out crowd of 50 students in the tiny black box theatre just down the road from the main campus. The audience was in for a shock while seeing the second act during the second act which reveals more about the families downfall and dysfunction following Chris Sr.'s departure. 

     The play goes through many twists and turns as we watch the transition of the King family from the first act to the second.

     The five day showcase, beginning on Nov. 15 through the 21st of the production opened.

     Heavy was DEFINITELY worth the wait! 

Night 2 

Back in action at Black Box Theatre for a second night where the HEAVY production brought the heaviness.

Sold out yet again, crowd goers say they were on the edge of their seats the entire play from the many twists and turns in the plot that we see.

"The actors are great...very authentic," says crowd goer Briana Grant. Many were in attendance including students and faculty members of Bethune-Cookman University.

"This is not just an abstract and theatre...or a play," Director of the BJ Moore Center Dr. Camesh Mauietta charging audience members to confront their heaviness and get serious about their mental health.

Several stereotypical themes of the average lower-class Black family were highlighted in the play such as depicting the black father just abruptly up and leaving their families when the children are at a young age, further increasing the number of black single mothers in the Black community.

The audience members reacted to many power moments in the play where the characters truly channeled their emotions, transferring that energy to the audience. The oooh's, ahhhs, gasps and outburst of disbelief fell through the crowd each time.

Catch them back in action for another night on November 18th at 7pm at the Black Box Theatre.