Powerful! Trouble in Mind at Timeline Theatre (Through December 18, 2022)

Trouble in Mind was written by Alice Childress in 1955. White producers planned to put it on Broadway if she changed the ending and the title to So Early Monday Morning. She refused and thus it never appeared on Broadway during her lifetime. She does have the honor of being the first Black woman to have a play professionally produced in NYC, but not the first on Broadway due to this dispute. It did finally open there in 2021, which garnered it a Tony nomination for Best Revival of a Play.

In the play, it is 1957 at a Broadway theatre in New York City.  The cast and the director have gathered to rehearse a new play called Chaos in Belleille, a Southern drama about lynching. The white director and the lead black actress disagree strongly about the interpretation of the script and they argue about it frequently. It’s a powerful play that expertly explores the racial struggles in the 50’s.

Ron OJ Parson (Relentless, To Catch a Fish) did an excellent job directing this play. It must have been confusing at times directing the actor playing the director Tim Decker (Million Dollar Quartet) is intense and often angry as the director. Shariba Rivers (School Girls; or, The African Mean Girls Play) is outstanding as the lead actress fighting to act truthfully instead of in black stereotypes. Vincent Jordan is great as the newcomer taking advice to be a yes man when working with a white director from the lead actress. Charles Stransky is solid as the doorman who used to work the lights at the theatre. is solid as the white male lead. Kenneth D Johnson is superb as he tells a truly horrifying story about witnessing a lynching as a child.  Guy Van Swearingen ,Tarina J. Bradshaw, Jordan Ashley Grier (Relentless), and Adam Shalzi are all solid in their roles.

Photos by Liz Lauren

Cost of a ticket: $47

PlaylistHQ Economic Rating: Worth It

Rating Scale: Exceptional Value > Worth It > Half Price > Go for Free > Don’t Bother

Get tickets now for Trouble in Mind through December 18th!

Quinn Delaney


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