Audience responses from White Man, Trying at the Son of Semele Solo Festival:
Brian Sonia-Wallace has created a hilarious and empathetic one-man show about white, middle-class guilt discovered through third world servitude. In this Brechtian, audience participatory performance, he asks difficult questions about the culture surrounding volunteering and encourages those in a position to offer their time or money to do so for an important cause. Uncomfortably mesmerizing, psychologically conflicting, and monstrously engaging, White Man Trying To Help ultimately achieves its goal in making us acknowledge our first world privileges and gives us the opportunity to confront them both publicly and globally.
"White Man, Trying To Help" was a performance that drew us in, made us laugh uncontrollably, and in the end challenged us to act--like, literally, challenged us--in the most fun way possible. The costume and physical comedy were a hoot. Every moment had me wondering "What's going to happen NEXT?!" The role of what I call "The Evil Left Hand" added a dark twist. It was a compelling comedic commentary on a human condition with a fun and funky twist.
With Brian's charged performance as what appears to be an unnerving, transient clown battling the monster of white saviorhood within, I couldn't help but to laugh uncomfortably in some of the best ways live theatre can produce when attached to such social cause. White Man Trying to Help is a satirical slap in the face to those who do not acknowledge their privilege in a world where there should be no other option.
WMTTH from BSW will make you say OMG this is a BFD! This brilliant satire hits close enough to home that you're bursting out in uproarious laughter while internally getting butterflies in your stomach because you have resembled the character at some point in life and so begins the self reflection and only minor self loathing. But wait, this interactive work offers you a way to immediately remedy this and validate how you are a person of action!"
And now, some quotes from Actual Women of Color:
'Inspirational!' - Jenna Al Ansari
'Model American.' - Lesley Asistio
'It made me feel good...but also bad.' - Lisa Dring