Black woman thinks she’s watching a play about friendship

@smilegena/TikTok Mario Lisovski/ShutterStock (Licensed)

‘I want to be your slave’: Black woman thinks she’s watching a play about friendship. She’s shocked by what happened next

'This honestly sounds like aggravated assault but theatrical?'


Tiffanie Drayton


Posted on Mar 1, 2024   Updated on Mar 5, 2024, 8:30 am CST

One woman was in for a big surprise after going to watch a play without first looking up what it was about.

In a viral video that has amassed over 663,00 views and more than 99,000 likes, TikToker Gena-mour Barrett (@smilegena) explained how the plot of a play blindsided her and why she will never again see one without context.

“Here’s a cautionary tale about why you should never go and see a play or a film without any context,” the woman began in the clip.

Barrett said one of her friends invited her to watch a play, and she excitedly accepted the invitation. In a bid to experience more “cultural” forms of entertainment, the women figured the play would be an ideal outing.

“But neither of us could be asked to look up what it was about,” she continued. “Whatever. We’re going blind. No big deal.”

However, not knowing anything about the play turned out to be a big deal after all. Barrett said the artwork for the play seemed fun and lighthearted when she and her friend arrived at the show.

“The ad for it was four friends in a photo booth,” she said.

So, the women assumed the play was about relationships.

“It’s kind of like a ‘Friends’ type of vibe,” Barrett said. “Like, some sort of rom-com kind of play or whatever.”

While the women waited in line for their drinks, they noticed a sign that read “trigger warning” and indicated the play had “serious themes.”

Barrett assumed the warning had nothing to do with her play. After all, she believed she was there to watch a friendly rom-com.

When the play began, she realized that was not, in fact, the case. The TikToker said the play was about two interracial couples: a white woman with a Black man and a Black woman with a white man. It began with a monologue by the Black man, who explained he suffered from insomnia throughout his life and used long walks to cope with it. In the next scene, he told his white girlfriend that while on a walk, he was accosted and assaulted by the police. The couple tried to grapple with the difficult situation that left the Black man feeling “unprotected” in America. Afterward, he had a similar conversation with a white male friend and expressed similar sentiments.

That’s where things took a strange turn. Barrett said the man expressed a very strange solution for the problem he faced as a Black man in America.

“The only way that I can feel protected is if I belong to someone,” the character reportedly confessed. “You need to own me.”

Barrett said he then expressed his desire very bluntly: “I want to be your slave.”

The TikToker said the white best friend in the play was “mortified” and quickly rejected the Black man’s proposition. Still, the Black man continued pressuring his friend to own him. He even offered up a contract.

“After a lot of convincing, the white man signs it,” she said.

The TikToker said that, at first, the white man felt strange about the arrangement. Then, he came around to the idea and allowed himself to “get into the spirit of the slavery.” That’s when the white man gifted his former friend a shirt with the word “slave” on it and a punishment collar.

“After that, I did swear to myself that I would never go and see a play or film without context again,” Barrett said.


The day I learned GOOGLE IS FREE the hard way. No hate to the play tho, im just an idiot.

♬ original sound – Gena

In the comments section, viewers revealed the name of the play and agreed it should be viewed with caution.

“White Noise at the Bridge?” one viewer wrote. “The collar scene was WILD.”

“If it’s the play I think it is it’s by Suzan-Lori Parks,” another viewer added. “That lady’s ability to just take a 180 degree swerve is unmatched.”

“Punishment color?!?!?!?!” user Noneyabusiness commented. “I beg your finest pardon!!!!!”

Others said they would’ve also been blindsided by the play’s content, considering how it was advertised.

“If I had a million guesses after ‘four friends in a photo booth,’ I’d never have guessed where this was going,” user Liver wrote.

White Noise at The Bridge is a play written by Suzan Lori-Parks and directed by Polly Findlay. According to the play’s website, it tells the story of four friends in their thirties who have been inseparable since college.

“As best friends and lovers, confident in their woke-ness, their connection with each other is stronger than anything else – until, that is, Leo is assaulted by the police in a racially motivated incident,” the synopsis reads. “Shaken to the core, he brings to the group an extreme proposition.”

The Daily Dot reached out to Barrett, the Bridge Theatre, and a representative of Lori-Parks via email for comment and more information.

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*First Published: Mar 1, 2024, 6:00 pm CST