"Random Acts" is an autobiographical play that follows the journey of a woman as she looks back at what she experienced in her childhood. More…
What happens when the past comes hurling into the present? How can a random act of brutality be transformed by a seemingly random act of courage and grace? How can witnessing the aftermath of Martin Luther King Jr.’s death, dancing with Julie Andrews and an unexpected message from the past shape her soul? What can she learn by looking back? Sometimes an act of kindness goes farther than we could ever imagine.
“Hinrichs' moving, funny and more relevant by the minute one-woman show...There are many twists and turns in Renata's expert storytelling...Renata as an actor has an uncanny ability to transform into all the people who she is telling us about...She does this with simplicity and humor, aided by the expert staging of director Jessi Hill, who also helped Renata expand this piece into a full-length evening that feels embodied and immersive." Full Review
"Had a fiction writer created such events one might fairly level a charge of contrivance. But Hinrichs presents these true-life stories with an easy mix of cleverness and charm, wisdom and innocence. Animated by skillful shifting from character to character, her likable performance grows easy to believe and hard to resist...Director Jessi D. Hill precisely tunes the pace and pathos of Hinrichs’ resonant story. Hill seems to have developed a special knack for making solo shows feel immersive.” Full Review
“The dramatization of an intensely personal experience from the author’s childhood...Hinrichs navigates between characters with great skill and obvious affection using her limber, dancer’s body to move artfully between physical types and age ranges...Not only is it good theater, it’s also the sort of presentation I find to be needed during these rapidly changing times...’Random Acts’ is a picture of living history, recent history.” Full Review
"'Random Acts' brought a lot of childhood memories back. For that reason alone, I was captivated by this memoir...'Random Acts' is nicely staged by director Jessi D. Hill...With interesting lighting effects by Daisy Long, the stage hints at a theatrical sermon filled with stories. Not the lecturing kind but a reflective one. Random acts of kindness can be overwhelmingly inspirational. 'Random Acts,' the play, is proof of that." Full Review
"Director Jessi D. Hill ensures the power of the piece by keeping the production simple and open to the audience...As an actress and dancer Ms. Hinrichs’ physicality is subtle, precise and delicate. She captures childhood abandon in her adult body without fear in sharp contrast to the stiff and proper elements she brings to her adult impressions. She is absolutely delightful to watch, and I love her singing voice." Full Review
"This talented artist smoothly jumps from character to character…Perhaps the most interesting slant is its concern with a white girl being on the receiving end of racist attitudes, and of a child's loss of innocence but not her faith in human goodness. 'Random Acts' raises valid issues, and nicely captures Hinrichs's recall of a specific time and place. As drama, though, it's…thin, like the threads of a spider web, lovely to look at but so fragile it doesn't take much effort for it to crumble." Full Review
“Well crafted and beautifully written...Hinrichs captures so beautifully the innocence of childhood...It is a very personal yet very universal story. There are quiet, breathtaking moments of love and kindness, and a child’s openness to the world that counter the moments of hate and violence...A story about kindness, about acceptance, bullying, peer pressure, friendship, breaking down of stereotypes and all of it told through the sublime, heart lifting performance of Hinrichs.” Full Review
See it if you are interested in race relations you like one-woman shows you like looking at issues from different perspectives
Don't see it if you want a lot of action you like musicals you don't believe that reverse discrimination exists
See it if Lovely enactment of child’s perspective on racial strife. Emotional, spiritual, full of joy & hope even in dark moments. Beautiful ending.
Don't see it if You don’t enjoy solo shows. You are uninterested in a child’s viewpoint. You want more drama, rather than sad life experiences.
See it if You enjoy personal stories and how they relate to historical times. This story reflected on the actress's experience during civil rights era
Don't see it if You don't like one person shows, especially where they portray several different characters.
See it if You can relate to growing up in the ‘60s or are interested in personal stories from that era
Don't see it if You don’t like a single actor playing multiple roles or are looking for a deep analysis of the subject matter
See it if Like a look at tensions & complex racial relations as seen thru eyes of white minister's daughter in the 60s-70s. Sense memory is good here.
Don't see it if Don't want to spend long time with her as a young child w little adult reflection after she grows up. Expect more story about MLK/riots.
See it if you're interested in a young white person's POV on 70's race relations and you want to support actors creating their own work.
Don't see it if you feel uneasy about a privileged person's perspective on hot button issues.
See it if you'd like to hear abt racial tensions in Chicago 1960s-70s. Impressions of 5/6 yo and of minister-dad. Strong beg/ending...mushy middle.
Don't see it if you want high interest thru-out. Some dull portions (cut Hills Are Alive). Late payoff is touching. Religious underpinnings. Cloying as kid.
See it if You enjoy one-woman shows that explore racial issues. The performance is enhanced by sounds, music and staging.
Don't see it if you prefer elaborate sets and costumes. This production requires imagination & a willingness to follow the performer back in time and place.
See it if You like plays based in history and the changing times of the 60’s as seen through the eyes of the young playwright/actor.
Don't see it if If you don’t like one actor plays or those based in racism.
See it if you like intimate, stripped-down, one-woman shows sharing personal stories in an entertaining way. I do, and Renata is captivating.
Don't see it if you're expecting plot, scenery, traditional drama etc.
See it if You can appreciate a one woman show and you want to hear a wonderful recollection of being a young why're woman during the 60s and 70s.
Don't see it if If you don't appreciate a one woman show or if you don't want to hear about reverse discrimination.
See it if you enjoy one-woman shows that are personal and nostalgic and family-oriented as well as socially relevant.
Don't see it if you prefer shows with larger casts and are more interested in fictional stories.
See it if If you’re interested in a a kind of stream of consciousness play through the eyes of a child, commenting on racial bias in the mid sixties,
Don't see it if You are looking for something light and fluffy or you don’t like one actor shows.
See it if You like creativity, and out-of-the box acting and thought-provoking writing. Renata Hinrichs is extremely talented; Wonderful talk-back!
Don't see it if You are not open to hearing about the Civil Rights movement from personal memoirs.
See it if A beautifully written and acted one woman show about her childhood experiences growing up during the civil rights era in Chicago. Memorable!
Don't see it if Do not see it you do not like solo shows.
See it if You are interested in the story of a woman's life while she was growing up in the civil rights era in the 1960s and in 1978.
Don't see it if You dislike solo performances and bare bones set designs, or stories concerning race relations.
See it if racial situation in 1960/70 perceived by a kindergarten, later a high school, girl; Solo show, with strong “theatre clown”; strong ending
Don't see it if Writing is not as strong as her acting, some parts fall into the trap of casualness; could be more condensed;
See it if You want to see a fabulous one woman show. Shows through a young white child's eyes confusing world of discrimination. Very touching
Don't see it if If you dont like one person shows, or dont want to hear about reverse discrimination
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