by Paula Citron.
Smoke Screen/Born Ready
Roseneath Theatre/Obsidian Theatre
Directed by Ed Roy/Philip Akin
Written by David S. Craig/Joseph Jomo Pierre
Starring Andrew Craig, Soo Garay and John Evans/Cara Ricketts, Joseph Pierre and Shomari Downer
At Theatre Passe Muraille until Mar. 9.
The double bill of “Smoke Screen” and “Born Ready” has opened amid a swirl of controversy. The two plays are aimed at the teenage market, but educators are finding them problematic.
“Smoke Screen” by David S. Craig focuses on the probation assessment of a very bright, pot smoking 16-year-old from an affluent white home who was arrested for drug dealing.
“Born Ready” by Joseph Jomo Pierre is built on three interweaving monologues that show the pressures behind the gun culture and why young black men are dying at alarming rates.
Both plays are well acted and well directed, and yes, the “F” word rears its head, but it is the messages that overshadow all else. Should high school students see these plays? Definitely. Will educators and parents be open enough to allow them to? That is the burning question.
“Smoke Screen” and “Born Ready” continue at Theatre Passe Muraille Mainspace until Mar. 9. Public performances are Thurs. to Sun.
I’m Paula Citron, arts reviewer for THE NEW CLASSICAL 96.3 FM.