- The Chorus "In between": "Rep and Rev[ing]" Athenian Drama in Suzan-Lori Parks's Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom
- Journal of Dramatic Theory and Criticism
- The University of Kansas, Department of Theatre and Dance
- Volume 32, Number 1, Fall 2017
- pp. 91-106
- View Citation
- Additional Information
This essay argues that Suzan-Lori Parks, in Imperceptible Mutabilities in the Third Kingdom, employs her self-described process of "rep and rev" to subvert and reimagine the function of a theatrical chorus. Parks inverts the traditional Athenian protagonist-chorus order of importance to, instead, have the black chorus—called "seers"—in this play function as protagonists and the protagonists (i.e., the heroes and heroines) function as mere precautionary examples of the points made by the seers. By doing so, Parks offers a critique of choruses that are homogeneous (as in Athenian drama) and oppositional (as in Baraka's Slave Ship). In contrast, the polyphonic chorus found in this play critiques multiculturalism's glossing over of difference, and highlights the fact that communities function best when they can harmonize alterity and difference.