The Oberlin Review

By Ignoring Parallels with Present, Audiences Undercut Black Retellings of History

Editorial Board

February 13, 2015

Fresh from the success of a powerful Winter Term production that filled Hall Auditorium last weekend, members of the cast of Dessa Rose reunited Wednesday for one final performance, this time before a markedly different audience: minimum-security inmates at Grafton Correctional Institution. “I cannot tell you how much [more] this one shortened sing thru version of the show meant to me than any of our performances combined,” wrote College sophomore and lead actress Tiffany Ames in a Facebook post. “More than any show I’ve ever done.” That the musical would take on new meaning in the context of prison should be no surprise. For some of those who took seats in Hall last weekend, however, the story’s contemporary politi...

On the Record with Caroline Jackson-Smith

Danny Evans, Arts Editor

February 6, 2015

Over Winter Term, Caroline Jackson-Smith, professor of Africana Studies and Theater, directed Dessa Rose, a musical about slavery in the antebellum South. Dessa Rose follows a long line of politically and socially conscious plays that Jackson-Smith has put on at and outside of Oberlin. The Review spoke with her about what to expect from the upcoming production. Why did you choose to put on Dessa Rose? Is there a particular reason why this year felt like the “right” year for it? Well, that’s kind of ironic, because we actually picked it several years ago. The way we have to pick shows in the Theater department, we have to look over a few-year time period. ... Also, because this was a musical, we wante...

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