A searing indictment against the racism and profiling of Sikh Americans, Sundeep Morrison’s powerful one-woman show Rag Head blends thoughtful staging and passionate performance to force audiences to open their eyes against daily indignities and injustices suffered by Sikhs.
Based on actual events surrounding a shooting at a Sikh Temple in Wisconsin, the presentation examines six inextricably linked characters whose lives are forever changed by one tragic situation, with hatred against Muslims and “rag heads” who wear turbans and hijabs the precipitating factor.
Morrison buries herself in the characters, bringing each monologue vividly to life through vocal inflection, physical movement, and change of costume, be it a Sikh mother, doctor, attorney or white supremacist. Her emotional range is wide: an angry yokel; a gentle, generous store owner; a grieving father, all revealed through the prism of her expressive eyes.
Director Amrita Dhaliwal creates moments of dynamic energy and emotion through the use of actual audio recordings of verbal attacks, song snippets, 911 calls and descriptions of what is to be a Sikh as bumpers between each monologue. Production work is simple but symbolic.
Rag Head powerfully addresses hate, hope and American identity as it reveals the growing surge of xenophobic violence and harassment in our hate-filled world and sheds a revealing light on the often misunderstood Sikh community.
“Rag Head” plays Thursday, Friday and Saturday nights at 8pm and Sundays at 3pm through Sunday, October 14 at the Ruby Theatre at the Complex located at 6476 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood. Tickets are $25 and available at SundeepMorrison.com, Eventbrite.com or the door. After every performance there is a Sikh awareness workshop along with a Q&A.