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Art by Jason Simon

Token Theatre Friends: ‘The Amateurs’ vs ‘Queens,’ Plus Jaclyn Backhaus

Jose Solís and Diep Tran review three shows and pick which one they would pay money for. They also discuss some common pitfalls of white playwrights writing POC characters.

Twice a month on the Token Theatre Friends video series, theatre critics Jose Solís and Diep Tran bring a POC perspective to the performing arts. They discuss three shows at three different price points, then offer their picks for the best one for the money.

This week, they review the following shows:

The Amateurs by Jordan Harrison, running at the Vineyard Theatre Company (through March 29), about medieval actors trying to escape the Black Death through art.

Hello, From the Children of Planet Earth by Don Nguyen, at the Playwrights Realm (through March 24), about a NASA engineer who gets asked by one of his female friends to be her sperm donor.

Queens by Martyna Majok, at Lincoln Center Theatre (through March 25), about a group of female immigrants living in a basement apartment in Queens, New York.

Then they interview playwright Jaclyn Backhaus (the scribe behind Men on Boats and You on the Moors Now), about her newest work, a musical called Folk Wandering, which tells the story of three women in three different time periods in American history. Folk Wandering is playing at A.R.T./New York Theatres in a production from Pipeline Theatre Company, through March 25.

But that’s not all! In their (non-singing) 11 o’clock number, the friends answer the following question from a listener: What are some common pitfalls of white playwrights writing about people of color?

All this in under 14 minutes! Tune in below.

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