This Week In Theater
by Rose Desena
Carol Eglash-Kosoff, who spent time in South Africa, delivers an inspirational tale about community, struggle, strength and last but not least faith.
South Africa in 1948 brought a shocking and oppressive political time that caused nothing but poverty, exploitation, and misery for the back population, which are the majority of the country. In 1948, white-Republican type (conservative) businessmen, who wanted to exploit South Africa’s resources strategized and put through a policy of apartheid: a separation of races that forced the black population into voluntary slavery and appalling conditions.
The economics were set up so the white population could grow, while the black population was completely impoverished, denied access to decent medical care, sanitary conditions, good education and most importantly jobs.
Three heroic women, who against all odds, put together an organization called the ‘Mamas’ whose mission was to feed and provide medical attention to children, the elderly and the disabled in the poverty-stricken villages. Although they stayed non-political, it was hard to escape the police brutalities, and they lived in constant fear for their lives.
Lisa Dobbyn (Helen) is very believable as the white, well-to-do woman who fights her way into the hearts of Tu Tu (Allison Reeves) and Millie (Rea Segoati) two South African women who are committed to their cause, but for Tu Tu, trust is a commodity that needs to be earned and Helen has some work to do before she is accepted; however, once the bond is made it is unbreakable.
Although at times I felt like I was in a high school production celebrating Black History month, it did not take away from the fact that it’s an intriguing story about a time in history that should not be forgotten, and Human Spirit is a painful and truthful look at the shames of hate, greed and prejudices.
The script could use a little work. There is too much going on with secondary stories that distract from what I considered to be the real tale, which was the Mamas. I felt really good when I left the theater, which is always a plus.
The acting ranges from quite good to just mediocre but there is a lot of love coming from the stage, and that makes it work. It is a decent show and I would take the family to see it for no other reason than to educate them about how hate can be overcome and the promise of the future.
The Human Spirit
Written by Carole Eglash- Kosoff
Directed by Donald Squires
A Guest production @ the Odyssey
Sat, Jun 07 – Sun, Jun 29 Friday and Saturday at 8pm Sunday at 3pm
2055 S. Sepulveda Blvd. Los Angeles, CA 90025
Tickets: (323) 960-4412 or Plays 411