‘Submission’ a story of race, lies and theater

Courtesy PhotoThoughtful work: From left

Courtesy PhotoThoughtful work: From left

Playwright Shaleeha G’ntamobi’s new work about an alcoholic black mother and her slick son struggling to get out of the projects is suddenly winning accolades and being embraced by a revered theater festival.

The twist? G’ntamobi isn’t real. She only exists in the mind of gay (and white) playwright Danny Larson, who wanted to give birth to a nom-de-plume that smacked of affirmative action.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 14px; text-align: center; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #000; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 10px; text-align: center; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

And so it goes in “The Submission,” an intriguing new work by writer Jeff Talbott onstage at the New Conservatory Theatre Center through Dec. 16.

Directed by Ben Randle, the plot revolves around Emilie (Sam Jackson), an actress who agrees to “play” the script’s author for the playwright. But when she falls for his pal (Chris Morrell), eventually racial issues rise to the surface.

Alex Kirschner rounds out the cast as Danny’s partner.

“The most challenging [thing] for me was wrapping my head around Emilie’s logic throughout the play,” says Jackson, describing her role. “I found early on that Emilie and I share many traits. We are both strong, well-spoken, outgoing and educated young women. However, our views on the homosexual community and our touchiness of our own racial struggles differ greatly.

“To say it plainly: I had a very hard time defending a lot of Emilie’s ideas of the world.”

Jackson praises Talbott for creating a script that stands out in a number of areas — beyond the clever concept.

“First off, it isn’t easy to make conversations in coffee shops and hotel rooms interesting, but somehow, Jeff was able to keep us on edge as we peer into the lives of these characters in these seemingly mundane settings,” she adds.

But the production seems to shine brightest whenever it draws parallels between the civil-rights struggles found in the black and LGBT communities.

“This play dares to question where the parallels end and differences begin,” Jackson says. “As awful as it may sound, I can say with quite a bit of confidence that the characters in this play say many things that most people have thought, but are too afraid to say aloud for fear of sounding racist and/or homophobic.”

But it’s for that very reason that Jackson believes the production will “definitely grab” audiences in a way they are not expecting.

artsentertainmentNew Conservatory Theatre CenterOther ArtsThe Submission

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

Those who stick around San Francisco on long holiday weekends can enjoy a slower pace, uncrowded streets and beloved institutions like cable cars. <ins>(Kevin Hume/S.F. Examiner)</ins>
These empty San Francisco streets: A holiday dream

We’re here because we can be, and because we have nowhere else to be

The 2020 Census has concluded taking responses sooner than expected. (Courtesy photo)
What does California have to lose if undocumented immigrants are excluded from the census?

By Kim Bojórquez The Sacramento Bee If The U.S. Supreme Court rules… Continue reading

It’s disheartening to see that Bill Graham Civic’s marquee isn’t announcing upcoming concerts. (Screenshot/Bill Graham Civic Twitter)
A cruise through The City with the ghosts of rides past

I take my time and don’t even mind the occasional traffic jams

A ban on smoking or vaping in multi-unit buildings has drawn opposition from cannabis advocates, who say it would leave users with no legal place to consume a legal substance. (Shutterstock)
Cannabis group slams Yee’s proposed apartment smoking ban as ‘classist’

Legislation would impose fines of $1,000 a day on repeat violators

The most dangerous behaviors by drivers include failing to yield right-of-way at crosswalks, unsafe speeding and failing to stop at red lights or stop signs. <ins>(Ekevara Kitpowsong/Special to S.F. Examiner)</ins>

Most Read