‘Wedding Band’

If progress were linear, Alice Childress’ 1962 drama would be a relic today. Set in Charleston, S.C., in 1918, “Wedding Band” centers on a couple whose interracial/intercultural love violates law and custom. Of course, African-American seamstress Julia (Jasmine Hughes) and German-American handyman Herman (Peter Christian Hansen) would simply prefer to be left alone to follow their hearts. But the macro-political forces that are pulling the society apart won’t let them. Penumbra Theatre founder Lou Bellamy stages this drama that kicks off the company’s 41st season and calls attention to the ways in which this subject matter remains current. The political rhetoric at the end of World War I — the summer of 1919 was known as “The Red Summer” because of the racial violence visited upon African-Americans seeking full citizenship rights — finds echoes in the political discourse of today, though Minnesota of course has long been a haven for interracial unions. (7:30 p.m. Tue.-Fri.; 2 & 7:30 p.m. Sat.; 2 p.m. Sun. Ends Nov. 12. Penumbra Theatre, 270 N. Kent St., St. Paul. $15-$40. 651-224-3180 or penumbratheatre.org.)

Rohan Preston