I’ve seen Chocolate covered Ants at least three times or more and every time, I leave with something different. From the superb performances that give the characters life and allow the audience to relate, to the subjects the play tackles that ;both wound and uplift each of our lives…
This is the tale of Dr. Adrienne Taylor (played by Suli Myrie), a social worker clinical researcher, vying to both establish her own name in the mental health world and also uncover some of the causes of the pain Black Women experience – by any means necessary. As she assembles a group of Black Men and gives them therapy, their differences and similarities are emphasized and begin to live on their own.
One of the most memorable topics was dealing with male, and some would call toxic, masculinity. The way it is woven in specific ways in culture and its unpleasant effects on Black People are easily seen in Dr. Taylor’s subjects. Many times we see that the men’s bold actions are really cries for help.
And cry out these men did. From topics of molestation, fear and hatred for one’s own skin, to feelings of abandonment and homosexuality, the cries were loud and heard by all.
Keeping an audience’s attention for three hours is no easy feat, but I noticed the seats stayed full and attention was at its peak. Stephen A Butler, the play’s author, was marvelous in writing such a entertaining play that challenges. Honestly, the play seemed to start off slowly. Butler’s meticulous knack for detail only set the stage for a tangled web of relationships; exploring the deep, mysterious and complex dynamic of black men and women. The final act of this two-act play pulled me in so far that I literally sat quietly for a few minutes, deep in thought, after the play ended. It was just that impactful.
Director Courtney Baker-Oliver shines as he uses the dynamic and high quality three-area set to help tell this passionate story.
Three words –> Go. See. It.
Play Time: Three hours with a 10-minute intermission.
Go see Chocolate Covered Ants, presented by Restoration Stage, performs through this weekend, October 28, 2018 (a 3pm show), at THEARC Black Box Theater, 1901 Mississippi Avenue SE, Washington DC. For tickets, call 202-714-0646 or go online.