"Aftermath II" is composed of various scenes built from improvisations done by Ellington students. The students act out the scenes, changing roles and even genders often to show different perspectives of what it is to be a woman. In terms of content, the show is difficult to watch, as it illustrates the dark underbelly of femininity in various global cultures, touching on female genital mutilation, rape, and sexual slavery, among other topics.
The show is truly an ensemble piece, with many strong actors. Ellen Winter and Aleca Piper showed particular presence onstage, along with DeAndre Baker, who was one of only three men in the cast. They easily drew the audience's attention, even in the crowded and busy choral scenes. The cast as a whole worked together extremely well, creating a very strong group dynamic. Every actor did a good job with the material provided to him or her, though some did occasionally veer into the melodramatic; however, that is most likely a natural byproduct of the intense subject matter.
The costumes, which almost entirely consisted of white articles of clothing, effectively showed the implications of innocence that are generally associated with the female gender. The lighting, by Lance Lewis, was also quite well done, creating vivid mental images of the actors mid-moment. It easily directed attention to the proper areas and enhanced the scenes.
Ellington put forth a great deal of effort and creativity to create this original production.
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