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Review: “This Better Earth” teaches and loves


The Theater Alliance’s production of This Bitter Earth teaches. There’s a lesson of how major events in American can affects us in different ways. There’s a lesson of how those events can be seen differently. And there’s also a lesson of how we can both be affected differently and see things differently, and also have love carry us through it all.

Harrison David Rivers writes this love story and Otis Ramsey-Zoe directs it – an in-your-face intimate tale of tenderness, race, conflict, hope and reality.

This Bitter Earth begins with Jesse giving a monologue of thoughts. A budding playwright, his relationship with Neil (a very boots on the ground Caucasian activist with Black Lives Matter) brings into questions Jesse’s own commitment to the ‘struggle’ while tackling the ups and down of love, that we can all relate to.

As the site describes, “This Bitter Earth explores the quiet revolutions of normalcy, reminding us of the intractable bind between the personal and political and the strength of love in today’s turbulent world.“

This is a love story. In a world where black and queer stories are regulated to pain, trauma and initial uncomfortable discovery, This Bitter Earth conveys two individuals with complex backgrounds with big voices and an understanding of who they already are. That message is worth the cost of admission alone.

This Bitter Earth is a spicy mosaic of love, queerness, race and tenderness – underpinned by humor and musical soundscapes that is a must-see for everyone that loves change, grown and … love.

Stay around for the after-show conversation about the production messages like ally-ship and the importance of relationships in creating long lasting change.




Theater Alliance’s “This Bitter Earth” continues through Sunday, March 22 at the Anacostia Playhouse, 2020 Shannon Place SE. Tickets are $40 and there are some “pay as you go” tickets available before most shows. Get yours by calling 202-241-2539, or by visiting


Written by Harrison David Rivers.  Director, Otis Ramsey-Zoe. Assistant Director, Vaughan Ryan Midder. Lighting Designer, John D. Alexander. Scenic Designer, Brian Gillick. Sound Designer, Justin Schmitz. Costume Designer, Brandee Mathies. Props Designer, Eric Swartz. Projections Designer, Nitsan Scharf. Intimacy Choreographer, Dane Figueroa Edidi. Master Electrician, Elliott Shugoll. Scenic Artist, Leila Spolter. Assistant Scenic Artist, Megan Holden. Stage Manager, Thomas Nagata. Takeover Stage Manager, Genny Ceperley. Line Producer, Aria Velz. Reviewed by Gregory J. Ford.






About gjames432

Just me and just pictures and stories and stories and pictures.


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