by Taylor Patterson
Be transported into the Amazon Jungle through the story of Akron’s relationship with rubber. “The Death of a Man,” the first piece of The Devil’s Milk trilogy, is a one-man show produced by New World Performance Laboratory (NWPL).
Long time Akron resident and Colombian actor Jairo Cuesta transforms the stage into an indigenous village where families were slaughtered in Akron’s search for natural rubber. The piece unfolds the hidden history of the villages that were destroyed from Akron’s rubber hunt.
“The performance is not meant to sentimentalize the story or merely invoke empathy, but to interrogate, criticize, and empower by opening a dialogue between text, past, present, performer, and audience,” says NWPL on their website.
“The Death of a Man” will be performed on September 8 at 7:30 p.m. and September 10 at 2 p.m. in Guzzetta Hall on The University of Akron campus.
The performance has received praise from critics. Theatre critic David Ritchey wrote, “Everyone in Akron should see this show.”
CATAC serves as the administrative umbrella for NWPL, an internationally acclaimed ensemble of theatre artists that has been active in Northeastern Ohio since 1992. CATAC/NWPL spearheads numerous community projects, training sessions, educational programs, and performances throughout the region, nationally, and internationally.
Taylor Patterson is a journalism student at Kent State. You can usually find her at any Akron coffee shop reading poetry.