There’s an ironically presented black minstrel show at the Vineyard Theater. There’s a darkly comic wrestling match with retro racial stereotypes at the Public Theater. At Playwrights Horizons, white characters and black characters try to talk about race, and mostly fail.
See a pattern?
Legit productions about race in America are proliferating this season, with a handful opening in quick succession this spring at Off Broadway venues. It’s a remarkable topical shift that coincides with the age of Obama — and one that hasn’t been played out to an equal degree in TV or film.
Creatives and programmers won’t say the surge in the subject matter reps a conscious choice driven by the 2008 election and the issues it brought to the fore. But they do acknowledge that every now and then theater artists all seem to write about the same thing…