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    Review: Bunbury's Eenie Meanie shines new light on an age-old issue
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    Race. Growing up. Tolerance. Change. Racism. Love.

    All of these are themes in Bunbury’s production of Eenie Meanie, which opened this weekend.

    Actor and playwright Teresa Willis takes the stage at the beginning of the production, and over the course of 75 minutes, doesn’t leave, doesn’t take a break, and ages 50 years.

    Quite an accomplishment.

    Just like this one-woman show.

    Eenie Meanie spans the decades from 1965 to the present, documenting the rites of passage as Teresa, with her self-described “integrated doll collection” (just in case she ever got a black friend) grew up in Valley Station, Kentucky, and then traveled the country.

    This intelligently written play is at times moving, at times humorous, at times starkly frank, as Willis shares her stories of growing up in a tolerant home in the turbulent 1960’s…and of going out into the world to find that her views were not shared by everyone else.

    The production is fast paced and moves quickly from one tableau to the next, relying on only Willis’ considerable stage presence and the aid of some spot-on music and video; and though by the end of the production this results in the upstage corner looking representative of the aftermath of a tornado, littered with discarded props and costume pieces, it is the story here that is important.

    Willis has written Eenie Meanie with an eye toward empathy; she melds together historical happenings with personal experiences in such a way that many in the audience will have no problem remembering the social context, and will easily connect with the themes she has drawn.

    Though the production has been around for more than a decade, Willis has updated it to reflect the current events of today, thereby making an already relevant production even more significant.

    At one point, a character asks Teresa, “Why did you write this?”

    She answers, “Because it’s mine.”

    And in some way, big or small, it’s a little bit all of ours. Thankfully, Ms. Willis is honest enough; is brave enough; to share it.

    Eenie Meanie is a joint production of Bunbury Theatre and Alchemy productions and continues through March 1 at the Henry Clay Theatre on 3rd Street. Tickets are $22/$19 and $10 for students with ID. Reservations can be made online or by calling 502.585.5306.

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    Michelle Rynbrandt's picture

    About Michelle Rynbrandt

    Before landing in the Possibility City, Michelle toured the country performing in various regional theatres. Having been there and done that, she can honestly say that Louisville's cultural opportunities are second to none.

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