Wirtz Center Hosts ‘Native Guard’ Show on Chicago Campus


Based on the Pulitzer Prize winner book of poetry by English teacher and former US Poet Laureate Natasha Trethewey, Native Guard “ premiered this weekend at Northwestern’s Chicago campus.

Directed by Alliance Theater and directed at the Wirtz center, the game follows Trethewey’s experiences as a child of an interracial marriage in 1960s Mississippi and the story of a black soldier during the Civil War.

Actress January LaVoy, who plays The Poet, said she has been in the production for seven years, including its 2018 premiere in Atlanta. His character brings Trethewey’s writing to life on stage.

“(It’s) a hard material – a beautiful material and a necessary material,” LaVoy said. “Over those seven years, it kind of becomes more relevant every time. No matter how much things change in society and in our country, these are always topics that we have to tackle and for which we have to learn a new language. ”

The play and the collection of poems were named after the first African-American Union troop in the Civil War, who was charged with keeping the white Confederate captives.

First year of communication Cole Edelstein praised the play after attending it this weekend.

“A good game interests you and makes you think of that after you leave,” he said. “‘Native Guard’ does exactly that.”

Growing up, Trethewey never heard of the Native Guard and the role these black soldiers played in his hometown of Gulfport, Mississippi.

The holder of the book the poem includes images that Trethewey used in the play. The plot also explores Trethewey’s education as the daughter of a white man and a black woman. The book and play explore the racism and discrimination Trethewey endured for years because his family’s existence was illegal in the eyes of the Mississippi government of 1966.

Weinberg’s freshman Abby Coffey, who also attended the play this weekend, said she had never attended many plays before, but was intrigued by the subject matter of “Native Guard “.

“I was very deeply moved by this story and the different perspectives represented by different characters,” Coffey said.

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