|Playwright Mercedes White|
The Space In Between is a love story between Cameron, an Afro-Latina woman, and Samirah, a Muslim woman who moves in upstairs from Cameron. The title of the play might seem to refer to the physical space between the two women--complete with less than soundproof floorboards. But White's intention is of course deeper than that. "There's so much left unsaid in the space in between," she told me. "Someone might say 'cool' when they actually mean 'I'm uncomfortable with that' or 'yes, we're friends' when they want to say 'I love you.'"
Inspiration for the play struck when White was acting in a production of Lines, a cross-cultural show written collaboratively by five women of color. White, who is half Mexican, half African-American, shared a scene with a half Pakistani, half African-American woman.
"There was kind of a gay vibe going on between us," White recalled. She and her fellow actor mused about the significance of the scene in the show. As they discussed it, she realized the topic was worthy of an entire play.
|The Space In Between Team -- absent Olivia|
In addition to the couple-to-be, the characters include Cameron's niece Andrea, a sassy eleven year old who is wise beyond her years, and Shaheed, Samirah's mother.
White understands the inclusion of a child in the play might adversely affect its producibility. As one audience member pointed out in a talkback, you'd have to cast multiple young actors in the role for an eight show a week schedule.
But the young playwright is willing to role the dice on that potential issue. The intergenerational aspect of the play is a crucial part of the story she wanted to tell.
|Olivia Luera appeared as Andrea|
She also noted that Andrea brings a different energy into the room. She hasn't lived long enough to become jaded so can provide a voice of reason.
The play's subtitle is "For the fairy tale ending we thought never existed." Thanks to White for sharing her message that people can move beyond their differences if they're willing to take the time to get to know one another. Now if we could just figure out a way to get that message of acceptance out into the wider world....