Pure confidence was an inspiring and interesting play, focused around the story of a black, enslaved jockey in the south during the 1800s. Throughout the semester I had been working on the costumes and parts of the set so it was exciting to see it all come together from the audience. I loved how intricate the woman’s clothing was and how the audience was incorporated into the stage setup. As the audience, we were sitting in the stands of a horse racing arena and it gave a very interesting dynamic to the play’s overalls atmosphere. We weren’t just watching the play, but we were also watching the audience’s reactions to what was going on, creating a more intimate setting.
As for the story that Pure Confidence told, it was empowering to see Simon speak up for himself against his white owners. He bought himself property even though enslaved people weren’t allowed to have property because they were seen as property. This was the way he fought back against slavery’s systemic structure. In the second act it was also interesting to see the difference in interaction between the two ladies, because now that the enslaved were free, they had an actual conversation, whereas before it was mainly Mattie talking and Caroline saying nothing in return except for yes ma’am or no ma’am. The play was well written and had some comical moments but for some of them I felt to awkward to laugh out loud. I found the way the characters were portrayed was clever particularly the switch between the beginning and the end of the war. It gave a depth to the characters that would have otherwise not arose.