Company One’s ‘Black Super Hero Magic Mama’ defies expectations

In “Black Super Hero Magic Mama,” a Black mom loses her son when he’s killed by a white police officer. From this tragic starting, the Company One Theatre manufacturing defies apparent expectations, blooming right into a vivid, energetic world of comedian books and superheroes.

“At its heart, this story is about loss and grief, pain and healing, but there’s also a lot of joy and celebration and color and a lot of life,” mentioned Regine Vital, co-dramaturg of “Black Super Hero Magic Mama” (a dramaturg helps produce a piece by doing analysis and facilitating communication between members of the artistic staff).

“(Playwright) Inda (Craig-Galvan) understands the genres in which she’s working so we have the hero’s journey, a bit of comic book structure, and a bit of video game (structure),” Vital added. “Inda understands how genres connect so (audience members) can explore really hard things through those lenses.”

The mashing of genres in “Black Super Hero Magic Mama” offers the theater manufacturing its distinctive texture with out compromising on the complicated and heavy content material. The refusal to compromise suits Company One.

The firm’s first in-person manufacturing since February 2020, “Black Super Hero Magic Mama” advances Company One’s mission to erase entry limitations to theater. The present will run from April 22 to May 21 at Boston Public Library’s Rabb Hall with all tickets Pay-What-You-Want.

“It’s Pay-What-You-Want not Pay-What-You-Can,” co-dramaturg Ilana M. Brownstein mentioned. “We want everybody to come no matter what. Come for zero dollars then come 10 more times. Come and make a donation of $2.”

“Come no matter what” is the message to the group. This is a part of the rationale Company One has partnered with the Boston Public Library to placed on “Black Super Hero Magic Mama” in a public house.

“I know people that feel like the theater isn’t for them, it’s too precious or expensive, or it’s not for Black people, it’s not for brown people,” Vital mentioned. “This production dispels that. All this is about is, ‘Are you interested in the story? Well, come on in.’”

“The Boston Public Library says on its doors, ‘Open to Everyone,’” she added. “That matters.”

Both Vital and Brownstein know pitching theater to a public who spend billions on Marvel films or Top 40 pop may be laborious.

Removing limitations equivalent to value and place — Brownstein factors out that not solely is the BPL a public house however it’s well-connected by public transit — is a large step towards eradicating stigmas round “the theatre.” But one other key’s convincing the general public to take an opportunity.

“Theater is just storytelling,” Brownstein mentioned. “And the primal desire for stories is everywhere we look. The more we can work to resituate theater as one of our primary storytelling delivery devices, the more people remember or learn that theater can matter in their lives.”

For Company One, these lives are rooted within the Greater Boston space and so the corporate goals to deal with issues that face the world: social justice points, police reform, housing inequalities, local weather change and extra.

“These are things that matter to people in the city and we want to tell stories that are humane and authentic and that amplify voices that have not had a space in important conversations,” Brownstein mentioned.

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