Rihanna's eternal single "Work" is both a part of the soundtrack and the plot of Jeremy O. Harris'Slave Play — the plantation-set play that's upsetting every expectation of Black storytelling on Broadway.
So even if she weren't... literally Rihanna, it would've been natural for O. Harris to hold the curtain for RiRi, when she was running late to a performance this weekend. And, to respond to the praises she texted him in the middle of his own play.
O. Harris called Rihanna "a 9th character" and "the patron saint" of his play, after stuffy folks on Twitter complained about Rihanna getting special privileges. "When Dionysus is coming you hold the curtain," he said simply.
To dead this weird discourse that has popped up...
The patron saint of the play I wrote is literally a pop star, f… https://t.co/GcSMWhzdxW
It might be understandable for people to be grouchy about celebrity treatment and the play starting late... if Rihanna's work weren't crucial to that existing in the first place.
The critiques also jumpstarted a larger conversation about theatre etiquette. O. Harris and theatre producer Stephanie Ybarra exchanged tweets about reimagining stifling and exclusive Broadway etiquette, agreeing that making theatre spaces welcoming and inclusive should be a far bigger priority than decorum.
"There's no right or wrong way to watch the theatre... the form is dying so I'd rather people just be there than not tbqh," O. Harris concluded.
FYI: miss me w tweets chastising anyone in my audience for using a phone to send a text. I’ve seen too many “genera… https://t.co/s6ANkSLzMX