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The Viking and The Gazelle is a play about having the courage to express who we are in a world that expects conformity, and the tensions created by the clash of cultures within an inter-racial relationship; all wrapped within a romantic comedy. You'll find yourself laughing, while questioning your own assumptions about race in America at the same time.
Michelle, who is African-American, and Robert, who is white, find themselves trapped in a dilemma between their feelings for each other and a fear of their cultural differences. Meanwhile, the cast of characters all seek to find their authentic selves yet struggle with the biases they have developed throughout their lives. They all carry false assumptions about their cultural differences and gradually begin to accept the validity of the “other” at their own pace; with some exception and never quite completely. Two key metaphors, including Robert's deep-dark secret, emulate the desires, fears, and biases of everyone.
Image by Erin Moriarty, www.tressocial.com
"The Viking and The Gazelle is a powerful engaging play incorporating authentic challenges met head-on with frank discussions, raw emotions, and a surprising level of humor. The lead characters navigate their relationship, overcoming enculturation and "advise" of friends, to achieve what all humans search for...acceptance, respect, and love."
--Ronald Lien, Hopkins, Minnesota
"We really enjoyed the reading of The Viking and The Gazelle at The Playwrights' Center! The play had us often laughing, but it also touched on very real racial issues recognizable to our own experiences."
-- Scott and Ekaterina Groves, St. Paul, Minnesota
"I had the privilege of being in the audience during the reading of The Viking and the Gazelle at the Playwright's Center in Minneapolis. I admire the production's courage to take on this monumental task of bringing to light subject matters across ethnic and racial groups when most people are either afraid or unwilling to talk about them. I look forward to seeing this production come to life on the big stage!"
--Rick Thomas, Minneapolis, Minnesota