N*W*C is a play performed by three men of different races. They include African American, Latino, and Asian. This play uses a combination of theatre, stand-up comedy, hip hop, slam poetry, and real life stories to take on racial slurs, stereotypes, and race. The show became a huge success and the three men traveled throughout the United States, performing at colleges, universities, and theatres. The scenes are carefully written and carried out in a way that allows the actors to captivate the audience. N*gger W*tback Ch*nk is not just a funny play about race. This show’s aim is to strip these racial slurs of their derogatory power. The goal that these men wish to achieve is that “their point was not to exacerbate racial tensions or divisions, but to drive home that there is only ONE race, the human race. The show traces the origins and evolution of three derogatory terms that shaped our lives. In doing this show we hope to de-power these words for ourselves and for our audiences.”
Recently the cast and director held an open forum in order to discuss the goal of the play and to give a few sneak peeks to the audience who came early and performed their play, later in the evening. The actors and director believe it is important to advertise the name as N*gger W*tback Ch*nk because it allows the designated audience to think about the show before they actually see it. .
I asked five Juniata College students the questions below. Here are their responses.
1. Do you think it was good or bad for Juniata College to advertise the play, Nigger Wetback Chink? Why or Why not?
2. Did the advertisements initiate thought about this play? (For instance, what is it about or what is its meaning?)
Did you take the actual message away from this performance (Did the message stick)? If not, what did you take away from this performance?
Holly Brandes, ’12, State College, Pa.:
I don’t think it was a bad thing at all to advertise the show this way, I think it accurately portrays what the show is about and it definitely catches people’s attention and creates interest in the show. Obviously, it probably did offend a few people or rub some people the wrong way, but part of their message was that the only reason these words are “bad” are because we make them that way, we let them have that power. So I think that advertising the show by it’s intended title is just another way to push their message home. Ads definitely created interested and questions about the show. Definitely, I think they make their message very clear and do a great job of getting their point across in a meaningful and entertaining way.
Jessica Koenig, ’12, Milford, Pa.:
I thought the show was excellent. It should definitely be advertised as N*gger W*tback Ch*nk because the whole point of the show was to address ridiculous stereotypes that typically make people uncomfortable. Yes, I thought it was very effective and entertaining as well.
I was thoroughly offended with the title of the show. I do not think it should have been advertised as N*gger W*tback Ch*nk. It made me think about what the show was about. No. I thought it was too humorous to be serious.
-Mary Munion ’12, Juniata Online Journalist