Oppenheimer Award-winning playwright and poet Cornelius Eady, and renowned actors Joe Morton and Sally Murphy, reunite for Eady’s play Brutal Imagination, twenty years after first premiering at The Vineyard in 2001. A potent examination of racial attitudes in America, Brutal Imagination is based on Eady’s poem cycle exploring the notorious 1994 incident in which a white woman, Susan Smith, from South Carolina, claimed that a Black man had kidnapped her children. The FBI searched for the man until Smith confessed that she had invented the Black man and had drowned her children. Brutal Imagination, two voices inside one consciousness, brings this invented man to life. Directed by Joe Morton, this digitally staged reading includes imaginative video design by Jared Mezzocchi.
Joe Morton shares, “One of the things that sparked coming back to Brutal Imagination was the Amy Cooper incident when she was using race and the police department as a weapon against a man who was actually doing her no harm. It reminded Cornelius and I about what this play is about.”
“We hope this play will be part of discussions about how we imagine or try to imagine what a future, a multicultural future, looks like,” says Cornelius Eady. “That to me is the heart of the struggle. This is part of the push that is going on. And the arts are part of this push…you have to imagine it before you can walk into it.”
The cast and creatives dive into why Brutal Imagination is as significant now as it was 20 years ago, and what they hope people will take away from the show in 2021. WATCH NOW!
“A VIVID THEATRICAL EXPERIENCE!” — Michael Kuchwara, Associated Press
The original Vineyard world premiere production was directed by Diane Paulus, with original music by Diedre L. Murray. Original casting director, Cindy Tolan.