what are possible topic or themes in the play 'Trouble in Mind' by Alice Childress

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Natalie Saaris | College Teacher | (Level 3) Educator

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One possible topic is racism in the theater: Wiletta is keenly aware that African Americans are treated differently by white directors and communicates this to John Nevins. Both the play that they are working on and the interpersonal dynamics between the cast stress the tension between white and black people. The white actor Bill O'Wray does not feel comfortable eating lunch with the black cast members. The white director, Manners, gets into a dispute with Wiletta over the script and finally admits that he does not identify with the black characters in the play. Throughout the rehearsal, Manners treats his black cast with condescension and disrespect. The white and black cast members separate into two camps and have separate conversations, representing the communications gap that exists between them.