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Eastern Theatre presents ‘Blood at the Root’

Published on March 10, 2021

Eastern Theatre presents ‘Blood at the Root’

Open to public for virtual streaming

Blood at the RootThe Theatre Program at Eastern Connecticut State University is proud to present “Blood at the Root,” a play by Dominique Morisseau. The performance will be available to stream virtually for two weekends, March 19-21 and March 26-28. The play’s title comes from the 1939 song “Strange Fruit” by Billie Holiday, who hauntingly sang “Southern trees bear a strange fruit, blood on the leaves and blood at the root.”

The play is directed by students Massiel Evans, Edwards J. Lorsin and Austin Washington, and supervised by Theatre Professor DeRon Williams. “Throughout this process, mentorship was centered around student agency,” said Williams. “Overall, I think the directors did an excellent job and adapted nicely to the process.”

Inspired by the Jena Six case—a 2006 racially charged incident in Louisiana—the production features a Black student who disrupts her high school’s status quo by occupying space typically reserved for White students. As a result, her community erupts in hate speech, violence and chaos.

Moving, lyrical and bold, “Blood at the Root” probes the complexities of race, individual freedoms and what justice means when biases have been normalized. “It has been an honor putting on a show with my fellow directors and Dr. Williams that is so relevant to our time,” said student director Washington, “… with the generational struggles of racism, homophobia, systemic oppression and division that we see every day.”

Individuals interested in streaming the performance must register at least 24 hours before streaming begins to receive access. Upon registration, they will receive a link within 2-3 days, giving them access to the performance at any time on demand throughout the selected weekend.

For registration and more information, visit

Like many arts programs, Eastern’s Theatre Program has been forced to consider alternatives to offering ticketed performances this year. As a result, theatre faculty and students have chosen to present “Blood at the Root” and all other spring 2021 semester productions free of charge for Eastern students, faculty, staff and the public.

Those interested can support the Theatre program by donating to the Artist-In-Residence Program at “This artist-in-residence program is one of our shining traditions,” said Williams. “We invite artists worldwide to share their knowledge with our students, use our world-class facilities, collaborate with faculty, and inspire our audiences with challenging new works.”

Written by Molly Boucher

Categories: Theatre