Not even white privilege is enough to keep Steven Truscott out of jail. Though it might just save his life.
A twelve year old girl has been raped and murdered. Her body left to decompose in wild bush. But let’s put aside the victim here and talk about the white dude. This is Soulpepper after all.
Small town Ontario. The year is 1959, and by golly not a single colored feller is around to lay the crime on. Cheryl Lynne Harper was last seen with a classmate. Truscott, two years her senior.
Cue witch hunt and mob mentality. It’s the shortest game of Who Done It?, as the the police focus their investigation on the 14 year old. The accounts of witnesses are twisted and prodded by the boys in blue. There’s a trial. Steven is sentenced to hang.
Did he do it? The evidence seems circumstantial at best, non-existent at worst.
“Who knew that our justice system is plagued by systemic issues?” said no black person ever.
Standout Akosua Amo-Adem prevented eye-gouging. One of few actors of color on stage, her teeth-sucking had me in stitches. No surprise the black girl is the one who is most skeptical of the justice system. In what is definitely colorblind casting she was one Steven’s few classmates who defended his innocence.
Show ends. Fake spoiler alert, Truscott is exonerated. Some old white granny gives a standing ovation like she’s blasting “Fuck the Police” on her walkman.
No doubt the creators intended this piece to be a reflection of the injustices that plague our justice system. “What better vehicle than the story of a white guy who gets off?” said a bunch of white people in a room somewhere.
I got uncles who will never see the light of day for a plant that’s being legalized in a month
Dark skinned brothers who can’t pick up their daughters from school because they looked at a Cheryl the wrong way when they were 14.
Albeit accessibility is important in the arts. No judgment if you feel the need to support tone deaf theatre.
Now let’s talk about Ma Rainey…