Aliquippa

The play centers around three generations of a Black women who provide the foundation of a family in Aliquippa, PA, a former booming steel town just north of Pittsburgh. Past events have rendered the women wary of each other in a way that is very much buried in how they behave towards one another. Love is all they have left after that, and it’s allowed them to forgive each other, and they struggle mightily to...
The play centers around three generations of a Black women who provide the foundation of a family in Aliquippa, PA, a former booming steel town just north of Pittsburgh. Past events have rendered the women wary of each other in a way that is very much buried in how they behave towards one another. Love is all they have left after that, and it’s allowed them to forgive each other, and they struggle mightily to remember that and produce it daily. The unknown history keeps the audience guessing, but as we near the truth, we are able to understand how a terrible accident in the past could have been both avoided and possible at the same time. Isaac, the prodigal son of the family, cannot extricate himself from history, and that the legacy of it repeats itself in the era of Travon Martin and Tamir Rice is all the more tragic. While the ghosts of those young men and all the others in recent history walk through the play, it never stoops to being didactic. The elements of daily life always serve to illustrate something bigger at work that is beyond anything the women can control as they struggle mainly to forgive the world for all the damage it has done to them.
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Aliquippa

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  • Nick Malakhow:
    25 Jul. 2020
    An exquisitely rendered play that looks at the nuanced relationships between three generations of Black women in a single family. The interactions between Naomi, Mama Shirl, and Rachel are complex, illuminating, and indicative of the intricacies of intergenerational relationships and changing social values. The supporting characters are equally human. This piece contains warn, human humor as well as tragedy, and balances them extremely well.
  • Heather Meyer:
    18 Jul. 2020
    Lydia Valentine's ALIQUIPPA draws the reader/audience in with its riveting characters. In a world stacked against Black and African American people, this play is important and vital. It's beautiful, heartbreaking and admirable, please read this play and produce this play.
  • Chas Belov:
    3 May. 2020
    This is a well-drawn play. The characters are vivid and distinct from one another, full of inter-family conflict and full of love for one another. I did most of my growing up in southwest Pennsylvania, and this play has a very strong sense of place. It also has a very strong sense of time, our modern #BlackLivesMatter time. I was moved to tears at the end. Read it/stage it.