The groundbreaking queer Broadway show Slave Play has achieved a Tony Awards first, racking up the most nominations for any non-musical play in its 73-year history.
With 12 nominations, Slave Play has overtaken Angels in America, which previously held the record for the most Tony Awards nominations for a non-musical.×
The three-act play was written by Jeremy O Harris, and follows three interracial couples, including a same-sex couple, on a disturbing retreat undergoing “Antebellum Sexual Performance Therapy”, as the Black characters are not getting sexual satisfaction from their white partners.
The set of the play featured a giant mirrored wall and the house lights are kept dimly on so the audience is forced to put themselves into the narrative, and confront their own reactions.
The New York Times critic Jesse Green described it as “one of the best and most provocative new works to show up on Broadway in years”.
Slave Play is in some ways a “thought experiment”, Green said, asking the questions: “If Black people in intimate partnerships with white people felt safe to say how they needed to be seen, would their white partners be able and willing to comply?
“Or are Black people forever condemned by the legacy of slavery to live ‘squarely in the blind spot’ of their non-Black partners’ ‘myopia?’”