We all know Chekhov’s famous rule (“One must not put a loaded rifle on the stage if no one is thinking of firing it”), and now it’s time for a 21st century update: “One must not put a cell phone onstage if no one is thinking of calling it.”
Gunshots and phone calls are pretty much the same thing in “The Submission,” which is taking absolutely no prisoners downtown at MCC. Our hero (antihero?) Danny, an ambitious playwright, gets his Chekhovian gunshot/phone call by the climax of this play, but by then shock and awe is hardly anything new; no—the flesh, guts, and gore start much early in this sharp-tongued story.
Danny has written a play, but he believes that its subject matter (a black family from the projects) will disqualify him from production: As a gay, white man, he’s hardly fodder for diversity, and feels he isn’t “allowed” to speak to the African-American condition. So he slaps an ethnic-sounding name on the play (“Shaleeha G’ntamobi”) and hires black actress to play him/her. And… cue the gunfire.
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