‘Lines in the Dust’ will leave an impact


Lisa Rosetta Strum, Melissa Joyner and Jeffrey Bean in 'Lines in the Dust'. (New Normal Rep photo)
Lisa Rosetta Strum, Melissa Joyner and Jeffrey Bean in ‘Lines in the Dust’. (New Normal Rep photo)

4 Stars

Lines in the Dust , New Normal Rep’s currently streaming play, centers around  Denitra Morgan whose daughter is illegally enrolled in a wealthy high school in Essex County, NJ in 2010. The school principal, Dr. Beverly Long, a friend of Denitra’s, is completely unaware of that situation.

Conflict arises when the school hires private investigator Michael DiMaggio to find out which students are illegally enlisted in the school.

One of the strongest aspects of the New Normal Rep production is its fine acting, especially Melissa Joyner’s performance as Denitra. One can’t help but greatly sympathize and feel overwhelming sadness for the immense hardships she faces and the sacrifices she makes. Her performance is raw and full of heart throughout the story. The emotion is never absent.

Because the format of this production is predominantly two separate videos used side-by-side for each character, the visuals may take time to get used to. Additionally, the special effects background is occasionally distracting. However, the engaging story will be enough to compensate and pull you in immediately as you await to see what happens next.

Written by Pulitzer-Prize nominated and Obie winning actress/playwright Nikkole Salter, the work has historical and modern-day societal significance. Set against family hardships, it is an excellent story guaranteed to have a lasting impact on its viewers. Salter’s writing always hits its note to form a very powerful and touching story.

Lines in the Dust runs for approximately 110 minutes, including credits. For tickets and information about the show and New Normal Rep visit New Normal Rep.

Charles Babikian