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Penn Theatre Arts Program

April 13 – 16, 2023
Bruce Montgomery Theatre
Penn Student Shows

by Eisa Davis delicately explores the intricacies of an emerging racial awareness and self-identity in a small, isolated, idyllic town in the redwood country north of San Francisco. Set in 1955 with the murder of Emmet Till distantly haunting the background, Bulrusher is about an orphaned multiracial girl with a gift for clairvoyance that makes her feel like a stranger even amongst the strange: the taciturn schoolteacher who adopted her, the madam who runs a brothel with fierce discipline, the logger with a zest for horses and women, and a guitar-slinging boy who is after Bulrusher’s heart. Just when she thought her world might close in on her, she discovers an entirely new sense of self when a black girl from Alabama comes to town. In the process, a nuanced coming of age story, set within the complex interconnections of black, white and indigenous people in U.S., is revealed.

Please note, this performance includes scenes including violence.