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Written & Performed by Keith A. Wallace
Directed & Co-Created by Deborah Stein
THE BITTER GAME is a one-act play chronicling a young Black man’s experience growing up in North Philadelphia. We ride along with JAMEL through the neighborhood of his youth on a night he won’t soon forget. THE BITTER GAME, blends verse, prose and “shit-talkin,'” into a stirring commentary that begs the question, what does it mean to survive while Black in America?
Ripe with pain, poetry and laughter, the play examines the relationship between a young man and his mother, PAM, as each struggle to protect the other from that which seems inevitable. THE BITTER GAME explores the subtle and often unrecognized effects of racism and racial profiling, the prison industrial complex, the question of police agency and excessive force, the ripple effects of vicarious trauma in the communities of color, and the value of Black lives in this country. It is a timely piece of theater that addresses many social issues that are pervasive in the lives of all Americans.
Keith A. Wallace is an actor, playwright, director, and self-proclaimed ‘actorvist.” He has appeared in Junk, Blueprints to Freedom, Movers + Shakers, Death of a Driver, Venus, In the Crowding Darkness, and more. Directing credits include The Last Days of Judas Iscariot and The Brothers Size (Theatre Bay Area Award for Outstanding Production). MFA in Acting from UCSD; recipient of the 2016 Princess Grace Theater Award. Deborah Stein’s play Chimera was seen in UTR 2012; other plays include Marginal Loss, The Wholehearted, and God Save Gertrude. She is Co-Artistic Director of Stein | Holum Projects, an alumna of New Dramatists, and teaches at UCSD, where her collaboration with Wallace began.