Utah Contemporary Theatre is the nation’s only all free professional theater company, relying on grants, donations, and creative fundraising to guarantee that theater is accessible to anyone and everyone.
“Neglect” was given its first showing in Utah by UCT as a free reading during the Edward Lewis Black Theatre Festival in February of 2010. The success of this reading prompted Utah Contemporary Theatre to mount a full production with the same cast and director: Yolanda Wood as Rose and Carleton Bluford as Joseph, with Anne Stewart Mark directing. Synopsis as follows:
Rose Ann Hayes is an elderly African-American woman. Her once middle-class Chicago neighborhood has become rundown and overrun with street thugs. Living alone, she has become afraid to even leave her apartment long enough to retrieve her daily mail. Joseph is a young, unemployed, African-American man who lives in the same neighborhood. During the 1995 Chicago heat wave that left over 700 Chicago residents dead, the two are thrown together by circumstance and desperation. Through its depiction of two marginalized Black communities – the elderly and the unemployed young – Neglect acts as a powerful examination of fear, loneliness, and the desperation that comes of impossible circumstances.
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