Raymond, an African American man stands before the audience normal enough, unassuming enough, nonthreatening enough until he begins to push a boulder. Desperately he tries to push this boulder up a hill, hoping that he can push it to the top so that in that moment when the boulder hits the top it will then roll down the other side eliminating the pressures that he feels daily. Much like the story of Sisyphus this story follows a young black man as he shares the life that he is living. One where he feels the weight of the world, represented by the boulder, on his shoulders. He wants to be successful, he sees that in his future, but only if he can break through all of the things that are standing in front of him, holding him back, pushing him down, forcing him to go in another direction. Told so passionately it is almost poetry this young man makes the day-to-day life of a black man in Anytown, America in this day and time a story that will resonate and hopefully gain a level of understanding of what it truly means to be a young black man in America. It is a hard hitting slice of life, a look into a world that is full of men believing they are being hunted, living with targets on their backs, still trying to push forward. Using the visual of the boulder much like Sisyphus he pushes and pushes hoping that if he works hard enough he can save his own life. Hoping that if he tells his story loud enough someone will hear and want to lend him a hand. Hoping that before he looses his ability to fight that he makes it to the top of the hill so that the weight can be lifted and he can be free.
Male- Weight of the Boulder
- (Scene opens with Raymond, a well put together African American man standing still looking at himself in the mirror. He surveys what he sees looking back at him for a long moment then looks to the audience.) Let me be clear, very clear before we get started about the things that I am and the things that I am not. I am not the typical. I am not just another black man doing the things that you’ve decided black men do. You know the things that I’m speaking of so I need not relive, review or rehash the past five years in America being a black man. (Beat) And for those of you who believe that being black doesn’t present it’s own set of obstacles (Laughs) then you’re just as crazy if not more than the people who believe that, “All men are created equal.” (Over the next few lines Raymond begins to change. There is something weighing him down that goes from living on his back to in front of him. It grows into a massive boulder that he is now putting all of his weight into just to keep it from not rolling down.) Sometimes I try to explain my life to another man, woman or child and the words escape me. I can’t say that the weight of the world is on my shoulders because the visual is missing. But have you ever wondered just how heavy the ‘weight of the world’ would be? And would you ever be able to carry it? Then I realize that it is on my shoulders and it’s so heavy that I can’t move. It takes all of me to hold it into place so that it doesn’t consume me. (He is in full stance, pushing all of his weight against the boulder.) The Greek Gods called him Sisyphus., a man who was punished by being forced to push a massive boulder up a hill for the rest of his life. Pushing, struggling and praying that it didn’t roll down (Beat) because if it did. (He struggles to keep the boulder in place.) If it did he- would- die.