Is God Is
- Obie Award for Playwriting - 2017
- Relentless Award - 2016
When a letter arrives from the mother they thought was dead, twenty-one-year-old twins Racine and Anaia travel from the Dirty South to the California desert, to a yellow house with teal shutters. They're on a mission to avenge her past, and they're ready to take down anyone who stands in their way.
A revenge tale about two women seeking justice and taking control of their own narratives, Is God Is collides the ancient and the modern, the tragic and the Spaghetti Western, hip-hop and Afropunk.
Aleshea Harris's play had its world premiere at Soho Rep., New York, in February 2018, winning the Relentless Award, and the Obie Award for Playwriting. It received its British premiere in the Jerwood Theatre Downstairs at the Royal Court Theatre, London, in September 2021, directed by Ola Ince.
'We ain't killers'
'How you figure that?… Iss in the blood.'
'A snarly new master of high-octane carnage has risen into view… putting her own audacious stamp on that most venerable of pop genres… Is God Is sees fit to bring down the house'New York Times
'Unforgettably original… Is God Is is simultaneously very funny and deeply troubling and its effects spring from the care with which Harris manipulates and fires words. Although it takes place in a landscape that Quentin Tarantino, Sergio Leone and Sam Shepard would all recognise, the way she moves within that world is entirely her own'WhatsOnStage
'A rich, funny, unnerving, exhilarating gold mine'New York Magazine
'A dazzlingly satirical extravaganza… there's an electricity in Harris's writing, a comic crackle and pop that sizzles and screeches, deliberately treating the heaviest of issues with the lightest of touches… both hilarious and disturbing'The Arts Desk
'A theatre production that has the audience gasping aloud in genuine shock is a rare thing, but Is God Is achieves it (and then some)… this bizarre, beautiful revenge tale is a triumph'Independent
'This splashy revenge comedy is a blast... you can see why Harris has been compared to Tarantino and Martin McDonagh. Her script shares their gleeful brutality, but she is a completely original voice. The rhythm of her dialogue is unique. She seems to be effortlessly funny, though this sort of 'funny' actually takes a lot of work, from everyone involved'Evening Standard
'It is not often that a play manages to resemble a Tarantino film and a Greek tragedy at once. And it is not often, these days, that theatre manages to shock. But Aleshea Harris's brazen drama will leave few unmoved, one way or the other… [has] an always crisp, entertaining and outrageous script'Guardian
'Excellent revenge fantasy… furious and incandescent'Time Out New York
'Transfixingly theatrical… Harris summons a language – absurd, fantastical, studiously mundane at times – that is entirely unique… though the play is full of brutal violence and a seriousness of purpose in its message of seizing control of one's narrative, and of the relativities of good and evil, what Harris never allows to backslide for too long is the humour. Even in its queasiest moments, there's a laugh'The Stage
'Aleshea Harris is an arsonist of a playwright. By the end of Is God Is, I found I was shaking and overwhelmed by the play's incendiary power... not since the first night of Sarah Kane's Blasted have I felt so annihilated by a play... [an] original, entertaining and sickening bloodbath of a drama'Observer