William Eason, executive director of The Art Of Evolution Theatre Company Inc. and Dru Smith of Mudlark Theater Company have co-written and co-directed a play that examines race and identity through an Evanston lens, as performed by Evanston students aged 10 to 15 (there's an error in the video, which says 10 through 18).
Featured artwork by Evanston artist and activist Fran Joy.
The play explores a variety of issues, from interracial dating and friendship, the where-to-sit-in-the-lunchroom dilemma, white priviledge, intra-racial stereoptyping, hoodies, the police, and more.
It's a play for all ages and all races--and I'd recommend parents and guardians take their kids so you can engage in discussion afterwards (it’s likely you’ll learn more from them than they will from you!).
I sat in on a rehearsal a couple of nights ago and between scenes I asked Eason a few quick questions.
DE: How did this play and this collaboration come about?
WE: Plans for the play started last September. The Executive Director of Mudlark, Mike Miro, approached me to help diversify programming at Mudlark. Part of that was to help with content as well. The play is a by-product of that.
DE: What do you hope to accomplish through the play?
WE: We are hoping to do two things. Help young people process information regarding race, culture, and identity in a positive way; and to use theater to make folk more comfortable dealing with it.
DE: Was the play written with a specific audience in mind?
WE: The play is meant for everyone, all ages, all races. I want the play to be an icebreaker for the audience to be able to discuss difficult topics.
DE: Why this topic and this play at this time?
WE: The political environment has been really highlighting our differences in a negative way. We wanted to speak to that toxicity head-on in a positive way.
WHEN: Tonight through Saturday, November 11 at 7 p.m.; Sunday at 3 p.m.
WHERE: Noyes Street Theater, 927 Noyes Street
COST: Adults $12, Students $10
Dear Evanston would love to hear what you thought of the play after you see it!