Two Trains Running by August Wilson
My rating: 5 of 5 stars
I read this play for my Playwriting class, so read this review with that in mind.
This play is so on point, and also just so damned delightfully BLACK. Definitely something to add to the “Stay Woke” syllabus, especially because, unfortunately, the social zeitgeist has not changed much, it seems. LOVE IT. I also felt as though I was sitting around a bunch of my uncles, listening to them talk about life, love, spirituality, and politics. But what I love the most about Wilson’s piece is that it is not only honest with a racially-divided society, but it’s also really honest with itself and with Black people about the state of Black people.
But what I love the most about Wilson’s piece is that it is not only honest with a racially-divided society, but it’s also really honest with itself and with Black people about the state of Black people.
The character I connected with the most, strangely enough, was Hambone. His function as the “soul of Black folk” was super powerful for me in the play. The very perseverance of getting what one is owed, because he worked for it and was swindled out of it, and trying to reconcile society’s debt to you is super powerful. At the same time, Wilson seems to also be making a counterargument via Hambone, that if you wait on another (even if he owes you) to give you your due, you’ll not only be waiting forever, but you may just collapse in on yourself. It’s surprisingly segregationist and nationalist in a sort of “reverse” way.
Loved this. OBVIOUSLY would love to produce this.
Rock on, READ on,