Culture of Equity
Volume 1 Issue 1
Wolfe’s play is a series of often satirical vignettes about the African American experience. In one scene, Reynolds plays a cheery flight attendant demonstrating how passengers should shackle themselves to prepare to travel the Middle Passage. “I’ve never seen a school anywhere do anything like this, no matter what kind of school,” Reynolds said of the play which she describes as “just informing people about Black struggles throughout history in America.”
As noted in the article by Oakwood High School theater teacher Javier Rivera, it’s also a chance to correct a glaring omission. “As far as a I know, Oakwood has never mounted a play written by a Black playwright,” Rivera said. “I know that I’ve never mounted a play by a Black playwright. Shame on me. I own that.”
Last year, he says, the entire faculty at Oakwood School – which has a predominantly white student body — was given a homework assignment: read the 1619 Project about the consequences of slavery in the United States and then reevaluate their own curriculum through that lens. This long, hard look was taken across all disciplines, including math, science, and literature. For his department, Rivera felt they needed to do not just a play by a Black playwright but one featuring a cast of Black identifying students – with other students welcome to take on other production related roles – from costume and lighting design to stage management.
We applaud the Oakwood School for taking action to center its Black students by producing a play by a Black playwright for the first time in school history. Brava Kennedy and Oakwood School, Brava!! Link to full article here.
Our Alliance Ambassador Kennedy Reynolds, Oakwood School '22 gets some well-deserved shine by a Spectrum News article for her role in the virtual, live-streamed production of George C Wolfe's The Colored Museum.