The power of sail, such an abstruse nautical law in the huge playbook of nautical rules, looms large in the premise of “Power of Sail,” directed by Weyni Mengesha, written by Paul Grellong, and starring Bryan Cranston and Amy Brenneman. Freedom of speech is in serious jeopardy on college campuses, such as Ivy League Harvard, a microcosm of the world at large, as racism in America today easily parallels to back to the pre 1960’s. No one is better qualified to debate or debunk a white nationalist bigot/skeptic than esteemed history professor Charles Nichols (Cranston). Of course, his hope to invite this speaker to debate on campus, all in the name of free speech, gets embroiled in the ‘woke, policitally correct’ views and guidelines of dean Amy Katz (Brenneman) and on campus follies of present day America. The audience finds itself in a very clever time lapse/flashback conceit where we learn that the professor’s motives may have a twofold agenda, as the story unfolds and a diary is revealed. The plot thickens even further as various members of the ‘coastal elite’ student body, Maggie Rosen (Tedra Millan) and Lucas Poole (Seth Numrich) have hidden agendas, ulterior motives, and other intentions than meet the eye (of the storm.) What once seemed like smooth sailing becomes stormy, as hacking into emails puts another student in grave danger. Even ivory tower Ivy League campuses are not exempt from danger, fraud, and death threats. The theatrical stage is arguably the best venue for writers and actors to prove their craft and impart important societal messages. The scenes of the play cleverly progress in a non linear manner, so that the story takes form as a round trip train journey. This stellar, small yet mighty ensemble succeeds in exploring and tackling such sensitive, difficult subject matter in a brilliant, illuminating way.
Through March 20