Love and grit
Master Harold … and the Boys
Sacramento, CA 95814
Growing up is hard. Understanding you’ve lived with racism your entire life is, too. Sacramento Theatre Company examines the topic in Master Harold … and the Boys, written by Athol Fugard and directed by Buddy Butler. Hally (Will Block), a white 17-year-old, and his two lifelong black servants Sam and Willie (Michael J. Asberry and Rob Anthony Gray, respectively) subtly discuss the state of affairs in 1950s South Africa. Hally recalls his youth as a child would remember it; however, he must come to terms with his world when servants who have become family show him the reality of apartheid.
The production is strong and features well-rehearsed actors. However, sometimes the actions don’t match the language and bits become awkward. The play is one of Fugard’s most powerful and conveys a bitterness about the everyday racism that continued to exists. First performed in 1982, the play was critical of an entire system 12 years before it crumbled with the election of Nelson Mandela. It simultaneously shows the love that is shared between people, and how cruel the very idea of racial or social inequality is in society. Overall, STC’s show tells the story well—grit and all.