By Aleshea Harris
Directed by James Ijames
May 26 – June 14, 2020
-New York Magazine
Their mother’s dying wish jump starts the blood-soaked journey of scorned twin sisters Anaia and Racine. They venture from the deep South to northern California to seek vengeance against their father in an epic saga of wickedly dark humor, family trauma, and Old Testament justice. Winner of the 2016 Relentless Award, Is God Is blends “tragedy, typography, the Spaghetti Western, hip-hop and Afropunk” says playwright Aleshea Harris.
After Zizka saw a performance of the play’s earth-shaking world premiere at Soho Rep, she knew that she needed to bring the play to the Wilma HotHouse, so she arranged a reading. After the reading, says Zizka, “two things were immediately apparent: first, the women of color in our company really took to the material. Second, the play had us on the edge of our seats the entire time.” Also present at the reading was Wilma HotHouse Affiliate Artist and Philadelphia favorite James Ijames. Ijames had loved the play since he first read it and was immediately approached to direct. Ijames has had a banner year in Philadelphia after opening Wilma’s 2018-2019 Season with his Kill Move Paradise (winner of the 2019 Kesselring Prize for Drama) and directing a much lauded production of August Wilson’s Gem of the Ocean at the Arden Theater. Ijames notes of the piece, “I think the use of genre (western, revenge tragedy) is beautifully married to an Afrofuturist aesthetic that I’m hungry for in the theater. This play is not concerned about being judged or being respectable. Its main concern is with being ruthlessly honest.”