Starring Beryl Bain, Lauren Brotman, Quancetia Hamilton. Created and directed by Chris Tolley, Laura Mullin. Factory Theatre Mainspace, to Jan. 13.
Taken verbatim from interviews with police, youth workers, mourning families, former drug dealers, and gang members, Awake examines the effects gun and gang violence have on a community. Awake draws on its strong ensemble cast and cohesive direction to explore the complexities and sometimes contradictory perspectives on the issues at hand, without sacrificing the emotional impact that allows the material to connect with diverse audiences. The show is a reminder that theatre created directly from firsthand experiences remains a powerful tool to address pertinent social issues. It’s just a shame that the subject matter is arguably even more relevant now than it was when Awake premiered at the 2011 Fringe Festival.