Student-Directed Theatre Addresses Race, Identity

Two student-directed theatrical events Friday night brought to light issues of race, gender and equality in America today.

During the inaugural “Spoken Word” performance, Stone McLaren ’16, Alexis Ifill ’17 and  Katheryn Maynard ’18 recited original poetry.

“I wanted a way for students to be heard and express themselves in a way that was appropriate,” said McLaren, who spearheaded the event. “I wish we could have had more people participate, but as we try to do this more it will get bigger and bigger,” he said, adding that he hopes community members will continue to talk about what they heard.

Afterward, Ifill and Nicholas Correia ’17 debuted their student-directed production, This is Real, which featured three short plays from different writers. 

In Night Visions by Dominique Morisseau Amy Nwachukwu ’18 and Dashaun Simon ’17 play spouses who disagree about the details of an attack they witnessed. Mia Kundert ‘16 and Sadie Goodman ‘18 starred in John Augustine’s The Three Roses, about a woman who has an internal monologue about being the only white person in a bar. For George C. Wolfe’s The Last Mama-on-the-Couch-Play, a satirical twist on black theater, Goodman and Nwachukwu were joined by Steven Ramsden ’19, Anders O’Neill ‘16 and Emily Onderdonk ’18.

“The scenes that Nick and I chose portray messages we want the community to discuss and learn from,” said Ifill. For his part, Correia felt challenged by directing a play that would convey a clear and powerful message. “When you see it come to life, it’s just a great moment,” he says.

Between each play, Onderdonk, Goodman and Ramsden also recited original monologues about race and stereotypes.

The show was a tremendous success, balancing intensity with humor to convey serious topics. The Gator wishes to congratulate all of the directors and performers, and the newsroom thanks them for a night of entertainment and reflection.

 

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