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Straight Outta Tri-C

N*W*C* squeezes the verbal trigger.

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The original title of N*W*C*, the Race Play, which is being performed this weekend at the Ohio Theatre, was too hot for theater marquees. So, Nigger, Wetback, Chink was abbreviated to its current form. But the production itself is still a pull-no-punches look at race relations in the United States. "It can make you laugh, it can make you cry," says Alice Backus, education director of the Performing Arts Division at Tri-C, which is organizing the production in conjunction with Playhouse Square. "It can make you think."

The play centers on three characters, each from a different ethnic background. In the end, the play is a lesson in tolerance — but an entertaining lesson, stresses Backus. "It reaches out," she says. "It's a great opportunity to discuss and reflect diversity and economic and ethnic cultural barriers." It's also an opportunity to "laugh your ass off," she says. "We hope to de-power these words and attack the whole concept of race right at its foundation."
March 10-11, 8 p.m.; Sat., March 11, noon

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