This world premiere drama from The Flea explores the immediate anger, residual grief and inherited trauma of four black teenagers whose friend is shot by a white police officer. More…
What we always hear: “Black Male Shot by White Police Officer.” What we never see – how loved ones struggle to cope amidst their anger and grief.
"A brilliant and earth-shattering portrayal of the effects of police shootings in the black community...'Scraps' is disturbing, relentless and beautiful. Transitioning from kitchen-sink realism to abstract expressionist game-show style, Inoa’s lyrical freight train of a dialogue-driven script is a triumph...A stunning play, and this production is a testament to a collaborative team with a shared vision...It is not to be missed." Full Review
"An astonishingly well-written and well-constructed play that hits home with hard truths of black males being shot by white officers...Iona's dialogue is crude and lyrical, formidable and credible...A potent, relevant and stirring play...Inoa took the play into a final nightmarish parody...This was a bold artistic direction, one I wouldn't have ventured but this gifted playwright is a name to remember." Full Review
"An intermissionless vibrant and searing play about the longing for equality and the rage when it is denied...The audience files out with that question ringing in their ears and an enormous amount of information to contemplate. The ensemble cast is extremely talented...Well directed by Niegel Smith...this graphic, powerful, and evocative drama, would have been far better served without the constant use of the 'N' word." Full Review
"In 'Scraps,' Geraldine Inoa, making a memorable professional playwriting debut, imagines the deep and lasting after-effects on the people left behind when police kill somebody...Smith has gotten impressively convincing performances out of the cast of young actors...This is not an easy play. It confronts the audience with uncomfortable language, disorients with its shifts of tone, and demands that we enter into an unrelievedly racist world and a starkly Manichean worldview." Full Review
“Inoa’s bracing and intense new play is about lives cut short by police violence, and the cataclysmic harm those killings do to the people left behind...If you can feel the influences here, Ms. Inoa nonetheless uses them in service of her own sharp vision. Act 1 isn’t entirely successful...Inoa creates a microcosm of a black neighborhood, so self-contained that it feels like an invasion the moment a white police officer enters...What unfolds from there is gut-punch sickening.” Full Review
"The second half of this 90-minute drama skips ahead a few years and becomes surrealistic as Inoa plunges into the nightmares of Forest’s now eight-year-old son who is trying to understand the cause of his father's death and who is terrified that the same thing will happen to him...The boy is played by the adult actress Bryn Carter, who, under the finely-edged direction of Nigel Smith, gives a devastating performance as does the entire cast...I want to see all of them again." Full Review
“The characters in Inoa's Brooklyn aren't there to educate or enlighten white people, they're not there to be mere morality tales, they're there to exist, to be given opportunities they might not be given in real life. They are there to be listened, not argued or conversed with...Which is why when the play transforms from a naturalistic slice of life, into a surreal gameshow from hell in its second half, we are asked to sit and take in the fears...And we feel blessed to be allowed to witness ... Full Review
"Emotions storm and collide, the characters rage and ridicule, and some of them speak so quickly that I wanted to jump up and yell, 'Wait, slow down.' This is a ninety-minute play, but I’m betting the script has all the pages of a three-hour drama...The second half of the play, the action and tone take a dramatic shift...It’s a daring leap in style and subject, but it works, thanks to the smart script by Inoa and tight direction by Smith, as well as the chilling performances from one and all." Full Review
“Though it begins with a nod to Greek plays, ‘Scraps’ soon turns to straight theatrical realism. Trying to mirror reality, the play examines a complex range of burdens borne by many African Americans in the U.S...Bowers and Tanyamaria...give notably complex, thoughtful performances...’Scraps’ transitions sharply into a different second half...An entirely new genre and style...which the ensemble handles with grace and dedication.” Full Review
"What follows is unexpected and uncomfortable – partly from what happens and some unclear writing. That’s not a knock on Geraldine Inoa. This first play indicates she’s already a good writer who is only going to get better...Niegel Smith keeps the deep realities and fantasies immediate for cast and audience alike. The Bats are always reliable, but the six actors here are exceptional." Full Review
“Inoa carefully grounds her audience in the familiar before hauling us into bizarre territory...’Scraps’ goes full-out surreal nightmare with a menacing Greek tragedy-style chorus...This quartet of skilled actors has energy to burn, particularly Bowers and Tanyamaria who leave us in the dust, hyperventilating, unable to catch up...Inoa gives the women the best language. But all actors turn on extraordinary ferocity in the final, disturbing developments of the story." Full Review
"A sharply drawn piece of writing that engages quite purely and authentically with the issues of our times...It resonates, powerfully...The problem of the piece is the shift in tone...Although it’s done with a clear and purposeful perfection...The performances of all the players are excitingly precise and strongly orchestrated within an authentic and abstract flair but as written, the overarching theme feels distant and not as connecting as the real life struggles presented in the first half." Full Review
“Raw, edgy, and searing drama...Smith’s staging of that outrage is hypnotic as freezes, slow motion, blaring music, and pulsing lighting are employed to stunning effect...However, Smith’s sustained stage wizardry only goes so far as the play’s opening is overdone and its conclusion unsatisfyingly departs from realism. In between there are moments of greatness...’Scraps’ succeeds when its passionate eloquence is simply expressed and it falters during its avant-garde detours.” Full Review
"'Scraps' is not an easy watch, especially in these politicized times...It is fascinating to see how they themselves 'guilt' Forest for being 'there' at the wrong time, wrong place, and with the wrongly interpreted actions...There is humor spread throughout the darkness of this play. Jean-Baptise feels like 'the sage' of Scraps. The one-man, Greek Chorus that adds insightful and irreverent commentary to the character’s lives." Full Review
“This ambitious, vibrant new play...has two distinct, contrasting acts. The first is set on a trash-strewn stoop in Bed-Stuy, four months after the shooting of a black teen-ager from the neighborhood by a white cop...The second act imagines the grim future of souls forged in this atmosphere, turning suddenly surreal and impressionistic, like a hellish game show. It’s interesting theatre, but not as affecting as the first act, in which the characters feel like real people." Full Review
"Each actor delivers the goods as individuals and as an ensemble as well. 'Scraps' is a powerhouse production and The Bats ensemble lands every potent jolt right to the gut. Playwright Geraldine Inoa has a strong voice...Director Niegel Smith also has a firm grasp on the reins...The troubled final third of Scraps sadly devolves into a surreal stew of mixed messages and distorted metaphors...The play would have been better served with the same voice throughout." Full Review
“Because 'Scraps' keeps turning into a different play every few minutes, it's easy to become distracted from the ugly, disturbing truths on offer. Dismayingly, the playwright comes close to achieving self-sabotage...Her instincts may be good, but 'Scraps' is all over the place; every time it starts to become compelling -- which is often -- the playwright upends her gameboard and issues a new set of rules. This has a dampening effect on what could have been a white-hot drama." Full Review
"Every sentence seems to contain the 'n-word'…The Flea's resident company struggles to make this material more than skin-deep or, in a couple of cases, to consistently speak the machine gun-paced dialogue so that every word registers…As the nightmare funeral morphs into a bizarre gameshow...the ensemble-coming together with superb vocal and physical cohesion-behaves in surrealistically rhythmic fits and starts…Carter delivers a riveting performance as the anguished child." Full Review
See it if You are interested in new work, you seek out theatre that wrestles with challenging problems in society
Don't see it if You are easily offended by language or made uneasy by graphic content
See it if you are prepared to face current American social & racial history, head-on; and want to be inspired by athleticism in acting & writing.
Don't see it if you’re ill-prepared to navigate the complexities of real Black lives and their stories.
See it if Well acted inner city drama in the first half that becomes surreal in the second half. The prologue didn't add anything.
Don't see it if Don't like violence - skip it. It also does tell a story that has been told before.
See it if you want to hear a bold artistic voice unpack Black trauma
Don't see it if you are triggered by self-harm, unrelenting sadness and grief, loud noises and it would do more harm than good. Power through if you can.
See it if you have never before connected to the full weight of what the Black Lives Matter movement is and how it affects communities.
Don't see it if You dislike abstract theater, possibly triggering for those who have experienced PTSD associated with Black Lives Matter.
See it if You are aware of police shooting People of Color at disproportionately high rates, and care about the loved ones dealing with the aftermath.
Don't see it if You are easily offended by language and difficult or potentially uncomfortable conversations.
See it if you want deeply absorbing stories of black lives encountering joy and inheriting trauma, told with the full expression of the theater.
Don't see it if You're not open to facing the truths of black and brown people in America.
See it if you are prepared to face the truths of the aftermath that African-Americans face when one of their own is murdered by police.
Don't see it if you are triggered by suicide. It is quite graphic.
See it if you are interested in the aftermath of a police involved shooting. Great acting writing and staging.
Don't see it if you want a light comedy. This is very heavy stuff -- though peppered with humor.
See it if you like plays that move you to laughter and tears, you enjoy theater that resonates with current events.
Don't see it if This show is potentially triggering to people who have experienced suicidal thoughts or are struggling with mental illness.
See it if you are open to an in-your-face view of the African-American experience. The first hour is riveting, with powerful writing and performances
Don't see it if you are racist and not empathetic to Black Lives Matter.
See it if Exceptional staging and performances. I was struck by the pacing--it patiently builds its world, then brilliantly explodes its structure.
Don't see it if You are triggered by depictions of police brutality--it's a smart, sensitive treatment of the subject, but still.
See it if you'd like to see truly talented actors in thoughtful performances tackling difficult but timely subject matter.
Don't see it if you're not open to the realistic, potential effects of these recent shootings on those left behind.
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