1. The appearance of a young black man, Him (Rashaad Hall), seems to offer salvation, at least for the beleaguered team and for the Danver family, which includes grieving Ma (Stacy Stoltz) and cheerleader/twirler Dixie (Taylor Blim), whose boyfriend, Bud Henderson (Theo Germaine) is dealing with both his not-quite-there dad and his bum knee.
2. Take the football culture of “Friday Night Lights,” mix it with the supernatural clamminess of “The X-Files,” and strain it through the satiric/horror filter of “Get Out,” and you’re close to what Janine Nabers creates in “Welcome to Jesus,” now in a world premiere at American Theater Company.
3. But what Nabers is going for here is an inversion of some of our most cherished national myths: the goodness of “real Americans” in small rural towns, the idea that celebrating the success of one talented black man (Him wears the number 44, which seems to echo our last president) erases the toxicity of white supremacy, the notion that danger lies somewhere in the dark woods outside of our own worlds, and not within ourselves.
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