Welcome to SCT Recommends, where we are sharing what members from the SCT community are enjoying, watching, reading, or listening to during this time! Johamy Morales, SCT's Director of Education is also enjoying some fun things which you can learn about below, along with her recommendations on how to keep creativity alive in your home.
The Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery
A couple of weeks ago I stopped by an art gallery called The Nepantla Cultural Arts Gallery, a multi-use accessible cultural arts gallery located on the border of West Seattle and the White Center neighborhood. They host monthly art exhibitions focused on marginalized communities and communities of color, while offering an ever growing gift shop with unique collection of apparel, jewelry, handmade gifts, and amazing works of art by local and national artists. We are located at 9414 Delridge Way SW Seattle WA 98106.
Nepantla is a Nahuatl (Aztec language) term which describes being in the middle or the space in the middle. The term was popularized by Chicana writer/scholar Gloria Anzaldua. Most often the term references endangered communities, cultures or gender who due to colonialism/marginalization or historical trauma, that engage in resistance strategies of survival. Nepantla becomes the alternative space in which to live, heal, function, and create.
I invite you and your family to explore and support this local gallery as they prepare for a new exhibit this thanksgiving holiday season.
How We Show Up by Mia Songbird
This past month I read How We Show Up: Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community and I was left moved and inspired by Mia Songbird's words of wisdom. After almost every presentation activist and writer Mia Songbird gives to executive, think tanks, and policy makers, one of those leaders quietly confesses how much they long for the profound community she describes. They have family, friends, and colleagues, yet they still feel like they’re standing alone. They’re “winning” at the American Dream, but they’re lonely, disconnected, and unsatisfied. Through research, interviews, and stories of lived experiences, How We Show Up returns us to our inherent connectedness where we find strength, safety, and support in vulnerability and generosity, in asking for help, and in being accountable, while leading us to liberation.
Lately I have been reflecting on the amount of stress and challenges that our parents, caregivers, and educators are navigating in this time. Give some self-care to yourself! Carve a little time to read a book. Our children look to us, the adults, in these unprecedented times and it is important for self-care in order to care for those we love.
It takes a village to care for our youth!
Join SCT in utilizing this list of resources to continue the expansion of diverse voices and storytellers you and your family are reading, watching, and listening to as we go into this holiday season.
Know of other resources that should be included? Let us know in the comments below.
Food is where we meet, where we build, where we struggle, and where we survive. -Peoples Kitchen Collective
My family is not religious, but when we eat dinner together, we give thanks. We include the rain, the sun, the moon, the soil, and the wind. Our gratitude starts with "Thank you to all the hands that touched this food on its way to our table." It's meant to acknowledge not just my husband or me, who cooked the meal, but everyone from the farm to the grocery store to our home who grew, harvested, fed, slaughtered, transported, stocked, and bagged the food in our meal. It's meant to acknowledge that it takes a lot of labor from many, many people for us to eat. It's meant to make visible the people we are connected to through our meal. -Mia Birdsong from How We Show Up; Reclaiming Family, Friendship, and Community
Thanksgiving from the Native American Perspective:
Indigenous Artists & Organizations:
A Kids Play About Racism: Check out the resources developed for your family to engage on the topic of racism
Podcasts for Parents and Guardians:
So do we! For the last 20 years, SCT Drama School students have imagined and created their own version of a (not so spooky) haunted experience for SCT staff, teaching artists and family members to enjoy.
Since we can’t be together in SCT’s classrooms to experience the spooks in person, now is your chance to bring this tradition to life in your living room. See below for the potion on how to craft your own Not So Haunted House and take a look back at years past.
We can’t wait to see what you create! Send us photos at firstname.lastname@example.org or tag us @sct_seattle on Instagram and Facebook for a chance to be featured on SCT’s social channels.
In need of further inspiration? Take a look into 2 SCT classrooms from haunted years past!
DO YOU MISS SCT'S ANNUAL NOT SO HAUNTED HOUSE?
We're sharing what members from the SCT community are enjoying, watching, reading, or listening to during this time! First up is Brodrick Ryans, SCT's Education Coordinator and a 2020 Emerging Leader with Theatre for Young Audiences USA (TYA/USA). He's also a bunch of other cool things, which you can learn about below, along with his recommendations on how to keep creativity alive in your home.
This October, SCT is all about the fun and none of the fright.
Well… we guess we wouldn’t mind a few goofy skeletons and fun-loving ghouls, but no jump scares, okay?
During a time when the spooks can start to feel a bit overwhelming, we’re focusing on our favorite part of the Halloween season: treats. The creativity and community that surround SCT serves as a constant delight. And while we love a scary October story as much as the next Halloween lover, we’re letting our community partnerships, faithful families, and fellow theatres serve as nightlight to keep things bright when the world starts to feel a little dark.
So read on, and join us in celebrating community and indulging in some SCT treats this spooky season.
DIVE BACK IN: THE GHOSTLIGHT STORIES
INSPIRATION: TOP 10 SCT CHARACTERS TO BE THIS HALLOWEEN
A TREAT FOR SCT DONORS!
SCT is deeply grateful for the support we receive from our donors. As a special thank you, all those who give a gift of $100 or more between now and December 31, 2020 will receive a complimentary ticket valid for SCT’s next mainstage season. It is because of donors like you that SCT is able to continue using the power of theatre and arts education to grow empathy, spark joy, and invite young people to engage in the stories that surround us.
The next chapter of this story begins with donors like you. Won’t you give today?
DON'T MISS OUT: SATURDAY MORNING STORIES WITH KING-FM
Do you miss seeing your favorite stories come to life on stage? So do we! But don’t miss a chance to hear your favorite stories come to life right in your living room with Saturday Morning Stories. SCT has partnered with Classical KING-FM 98.1 to bring beloved children’s literature to life through a crescendo of whimsical melodies and narrated plots. Hand selected titles take families on a classical music adventure where they can simultaneously engage in activities uniquely curated by SCT for each production that the whole family can enjoy.
Listeners can tune in at 8:30 a.m. through November 7, 2020.
Stuck on ideas for this year's Halloween costume? We're here to help! Take a look below for 10 inspiring, goofy, and bold characters to dress up as this year from past SCT productions. Build your own boat and travel to where the wild things are as Max, ditch the dress and become your own princess like Snow White, or channel your courage and throw on your boxing gloves as Muhammad Ali.
The options are endless! What are you going to dress up as for Halloween this year? Let us know in the comments below!
1. A Young muhammad ali from 'and in this corner: cassius clay' (2018)
2. ASLAN FROM 'THE LION, THE WITCH, AND THE WARDROBE' (2016)
3. MAX FROM 'WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE' (2016)
4. SNOW WHITE FROM 'SNOW WHITE' (2020)
5. JACKIE ROBINSON FROM 'JACKIE AND ME' (2011)
6. LYLE FROM 'LYLE THE CROCODILE' (2011)
7. pippi from 'pippi longstocking' (2013)
8. cat in the hat from 'dr. seuss's cat in the hat' (2012)
9. BLUE & YELLOW DOG FROM 'GO, DOG, GO!' (2011)
10. corduroy from 'corduroy' (2019)
September is a time of transition.
Like you, we have spent the last six months learning, adapting, and growing. And just as we have all grown accustomed to our safe-at-home virtual reality, we are pausing to plan for the school year and reflect on all of the recent change in our community and our world.
Transition can be daunting, but knowledge, courage, and growth makes the change worthwhile. So, whether you’re an artist learning new ways to express your creativity, a student preparing for a year of learning in new environments, or a parent or educator helping their child navigate the changing world, SCT is here to support.
Join us as we embrace transition and welcome growth, and read on to learn more about SCT’s plans for the coming months.
SPOTLIGHT ON: COMMUNITY ENGAGEMENT & ARTS BASED LEARNING
Hear from SCT’s Associate Director of Education, Tiffany Maltos and Arts Based Learning Program Manager, Elizabeth Coen on the impact of community programs and how SCT plans to evolve, as we focus our efforts on our regional communities to continue bringing resources to schools this Fall.
At SCT, we’re constantly asking ourselves how we can build on our mission of providing children of all ages access to professional theatre. Experiencing theatre at a young age has proven to be a strong tool for young people to build their social and emotional skills, unleash their creativity, and learn more about themselves and the world around them. We also know that not every young person has the ability to make a trip to the theatre, so the mission of SCT’s Community Engagement and Arts Based Learning Programs is simple: let’s bring theatre to them.
learning through music:
Take some time this Saturday morning away from your screens and join our friend Paddington Bear on a charming musical journey to his first concert.
While you listen, gather the family and enjoy activities created by the SCT Education Staff specifically to accompany this unique experience. iInspired by a the program narrated by Stephen Fry, with music by Herbert Chappell, activities include Storytelling, Visual Art, and Movement exercises for the whole family to enjoy.
did you know?
5 fun facts you didn't know about paddington bear
2. Paddington's creator, author Michael Bond, had the idea for Paddington in 1956 as he was wandering through a London department store on Christmas Eve, searching for a present for his wife. He saw a lonely teddy bear on a shelf and thought he looked like he needed a friend, so he brought his home and the rest in history!
3. Paddington books have been translated into over 40 languages! His adventures are enjoyed in countries all over the world.
4. If you know Paddington, we're sure you did know that his favorite thing is marmalade. But... did you know that his favorite marmalade is spiced orange?
5. There are 14 different Paddington books by author Michael Bond. Not to mention movies, TV shows, and of course, concerts! After you're done listening to Paddington Bear's First Concert, join him on his many other adventures as he gets into trouble and warms the hearts of his family and friends.
Read on to hear from SCT Curriculum Specialist and long time Teaching Artist Meredith Berlin on her process for designing the activities for 'Saturday Morning Stories' and what families can expect from this unique new experience.
Meet Meredith Berlin, Curriculum Designer of 'Saturday Morning Stories' Partnership with
what can young people and families expect the experience of 'saturday morning stories' to be like when following along with sct's activities?
what was the process of developing the educational curriculum for 'saturday morning stories' like?
why do you think it's important for families to take this time together?
do you have a personal favorite show that will be features in 'saturday morning stories'?
“This collaboration with KING FM is a wonderful opportunity to combine our resources and offer the experience of the performing arts from the comfort of your home,” says SCT Director of Education, Johamy Morales. “Through our activity guides and new curriculum, we hope to provide caregivers and young people with the tools they need to spark their own curiosity, courage, and play.”
KING FM, which reaches up to 250,000 weekly listeners across Puget Sound, has made it their mission to make classical music accessible for everyone in the community and to advocate for the arts throughout the region. “Teachers and parents use Classical KING FM to introduce children to classical music, and the station has additional programs to supplement this important work,” says Blaine Shepherd, Director of Programming and Corporate Support at KING FM.
The weekly activities, designed by long time SCT teaching artist and Curriculum Specialist, Meredith Berlin, offer all families a chance to play regardless of age. “The activities are designed to provide structures for artistic investigation and collaboration as well as family conversations on the themes embedded in the stories. Each activity sheet includes simple instructions, a list of materials, and ideas for bonus activities and reflection. They are all designed to be fun while building confidence and connection to the music and each other,” says Berlin, adding that listeners can engage the activities before or after the program, tailoring the experience for their family.
Families can learn more about Saturday Morning Stories and join in on the weekly fun by visiting www.king.org. Weekly activities will be made available up to one week prior to each production and will be available for review and download at www.sct.org.
About Meredith Berlin (she/her), Curriculum Designer - Curriculum Specialist and Teaching Artist, Meredith has taught SCT drama school students of every age and level for over twenty years. She has performed as an actor and dancer on stages in Seattle and Washington DC. She is also a director, choreographer, and is the author of The Ghost Light Kids Get Hooked, an adventure inspired by her experiences behind the scenes at SCT and other theaters. Meredith has received grants from both the Seattle and King County Arts Commissions.
Seattle Children’s Theatre is internationally recognized as a leading producer of professional theatre, educational programs and new works for young audiences, which have entertained, inspired and educated over 4 million children and their families. Since its inception, SCT has produced more than 260 plays, 115 of which are world premieres. Each season nearly 60,000 students and teachers experience the magic of live theatre through our Student Access Series. For this program, SCT subsidizes $1.3 million in significantly reduced and free tickets to make attending the theatre more accessible for schools in the region. The 2018-2019 season is sponsored by Microsoft, Shubert Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ArtsFund. Stay up to date with SCT by visiting our blog.
About KING FM - Classical KING FM 98.1 is the primary institution developing new audiences for classical music and the arts in Seattle, Bellevue, and the Puget Sound Region. Listener-supported KING FM is located at Seattle Center with a mission to make classical music accessible for everyone in the community and to advocate for the arts in our region. In addition to creating programming that offers everyone in the region an opportunity to make classical music and the arts a part of daily life, Classical KING FM partners with arts and culture organizations of all size and scope in the region, offering broadcast performances of local concerts as well as an opportunity for local musicians to perform on our signature Friday evening program Northwest Focus LIVE. The Northwest Focus Concert Calendar offers listeners the opportunity to learn more about concerts and events to encourage them to deepen their involvement with classical music and the arts by attending and supporting the excellent performing organizations the region boasts.
More than 15,000 members are supporters of Classical KING FM, helping to pave the way for a bright future for the station, and bringing the richness of classical music to diverse audiences in the rapidly growing Puget Sound Region.
MEET TEACHING ARTIST AND SENSORY DRAMA SPECIALIST, MADDIE NAPEL
Maddie (she/her) has a background in sensory drama from working with Seesaw Theatre at Northwestern University and is the founding Artistic Director of Parachute Players. She also has extensive experience as a teaching artist in special education classrooms in Seattle and personal experience with the disability community as a sibling of an adult brother with cerebral palsy. Through her work and training, she has sought out (and continues to seek out) partnerships with teachers and artists with disabilities.
First, tell us a bit about Sensory Drama. Who is it for and why is it unique?
These Sensory Drama summer classes are specifically for students with disabilities. We feel that holding space for these students is always important, but particularly important right now, as they have been disproportionately impacted by the COVID-19 initiated shift to online learning. We want to show these students and these families how much they are valued by offering these experiences, tailor-made for them.
What kinds of accommodations are made for different students?
What is the goal of a guardian and me experience? What does that participation look like for both guardian and student?
How has your experience been while teaching these classes in a virtual environment?
meeT sensory drama consultant,
So read on to discover all the ways SCT continues to connect to our valued audience – nationally, regionally and locally.
EXCLUSIVE FOR SCT FAMILIES
KING-FM reaches across the Greater Puget Sound with up to 300,000 listeners a week, and with a simple click of a button you can join us on Saturday morning starting August 15 for an experience your whole family will love. Visit us online for more information from us and our friends at KING-FM on when and where you can tune in! Who knows, the music from your favorite SCT show may just be featured.
THANK YOU, ARTSFUND!
Encouraging connection through a virtual setting can be challenging, but our teaching artists and students have found success through SCT’s intimate class sizes and new roster of summer classes including unique affinity options and upcoming classes like Intro to Puppetry, Sensory Drama, and Stand Up classes for BIPOC students. It has been 2 months of supreme creativity and fun, and we can’t wait to see what August will bring!
A groundbreaking collaboration among 37 Theatres for Young Audiences across the United States, led by the lead producing team of Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta, will present the virtual premiere of A Kids Play About Racism, a theatrical adaptation of Jelani Memory’s A Kids Book About Racism. Premiering August 1 and 2 on the streaming platform Broadway On Demand, the new work is adapted and directed by award-winning director and TYA artist Khalia Davis and will be brought to life by an entirely Black and BIPOC cast and creative team from across the United States. A Kids Play About Racism will utilize theatre to offer young children and families a way to engage in meaningful conversation about race.
Adaptor and Director of A Kid’s Play About Racism, bicoastal multidisciplinary artist, and recipient of TYA/USA’s 2019 Emerging Leader Fellowship.
Recognized by Forbes and CultureAmp as a preferred anti-racism and DEI educator and consultant, Atlanta-based attorney, and former SCT Board of Trustees.
Executive Director at Northwest African American Museum, 20+ year career building success for Black museums, national president of the Association of African American Museums Board of Directors.
SCT’s Director of Education, Trustee for Theatre Communication Group, featured panelist for Colorado Creative Industries and TCG’s Rising Leaders of Color.
A senior at Holy Names Academy, is honored to be a part of today's discussion. Kennedy is an active participant in her high school theatre department and has performed in multiple SCT productions. Kennedy considers herself a social activist and hopes to use her art as a platform to inspire younger kids of color to be unafraid to use their voices.
by chloe tower - summer 2020 intern
Initially, I was nervous about how I could feel connected, since I would be doing the internship from the complete opposite part of the country. However, SCT made me feel so connected, included, and accepted. During the very first week, working alongside Brodrick Ryans (Education Coordinator), we shared experiences of growing up in the Southeast, a desire to share stories on stage of those who have not had a voice, and a love for seeing the growth in students. It was moments like these with teaching artists over the summer that made me feel connected and valued.
One of the most wonderful parts of this internship has been getting to know the eight other interns in the 2020 class. From virtual movie nights to hangouts over Zoom, these other interns have been intentional to keep the community that comes with an internship alive and thriving even in a virtual setting. These individuals have supported, inspired, and accepted me and made the family of SCT feel so real and tangible.
The term “SCT family” had been used before and during my internship experience, and I can honestly say that I have felt that sense of community and family from the moment I accepted this internship. SCT has gone above and beyond to ensure that I have felt accepted and supported, not only as an intern, but as a person. From check-ins with Johamy Morales (Director of Education) and Tiffany Maltos (Associate Education Director), to chats with Liz Cohn (Arts-Based Learning Manager) about our shared Floridian experiences, the staff has made me feel like a part of the family, even though I am 2,500 miles away. This internship experience over the summer has renewed my hope for the future of theatre and arts education in a post COVID world. We may be living in uncertain times, but one thing is for sure: being a part of the internship class of 2020 has changed my life for the better.
WRITTEN BY NIKKI TOMBS
EDUCATION DIRECTOR AT TRUE COLORS THEATRE
I must warn you that this is not radical discourse of finger pointing and judgement (at least that is not the intent). It is neither a placated account made more palatable to those who have grappled with this very difficult conversation. It is; however, a sincere offering of my experiences in discussing race, prejudice and the Black Lives Matter movement with my children, and supporting those in my sphere who have sought ways to engage these topics with their children. I am no expert or teacher of all things race. But I am a student of the world who navigates as a woman of color, charged with leading four young minds (my children) to make wise decisions that will impact our world. More importantly, I am a part of a communal movement of those who have not always followed the precepts of what is appropriate to say or appropriate to do, but we continue to seek opportunities to learn more in order to do better.
Therefore, the question becomes when it is appropriate to have conversations with your kids about racism. My husband and I started these conversations as early as kindergarten after noticing the shift in our children’s interactions when meeting new friends. We would start with questions that could range from something as simple as, “How was your day?” to “Who did what and why and how did that make you feel?” We soon discovered that at some point, the questions would begin to come from them. I recently recall when my seven year old son entered my bedroom as my husband and I were watching, what was then, a peaceful demonstration on television. As he peered at the screen, he asked me why the people were marching. I began to explain to him that a man named George Floyd died. He turned and then asked, “Was he sick?” My reply was “…no, the police killed him and that’s why all of those people are marching.” He then said, “Are those people his family?” I smiled at him, envious of his innocence as pure as the lamb in a John Donne metaphysical poem and replied, “They are now!” And just when I thought the line of questioning was over, he asked “why are they yelling black lives matter!” I said, “Because sadly, for some reason, there are those who believe that they don’t.” He gave an inquisitive stare, which shifted to resolve and exited the room.
These conversations have an entirely different tone when speaking to my twenty year old son whose simple drive to the grocery store requires two checklists: one with a list of items needed, and the other a mental checklist of do’s and don’ts to make it home safely. Then there is my teenage daughter whose most upsetting account of racism or prejudice is witnessing her school administrators and teachers target black students for their dress code, hairstyles and argot. Nevertheless, the last conversation is one of an entirely different tone. It is bittersweet as I whisper in the ear of my differently abled (special needs) son who is completely unaware of the perils of the world. Each tear is a shared emotion of gratitude and grief. But what also grieves my spirit is that due to the unfair treatment of people of color, social justice movements, such as Black Lives Matter, must exist to both advocate and remind. The Black Lives Matter movement has been fighting to be heard since 2013’s urgent need to bring attention to police brutality. The impetus for this movement was the death of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin in 2012. Despite their valiant efforts, more and more lives are lost to police brutality and the saga continues. There are those who feel the need to remind us that all lives matter-and they do. But this dismissive response and inability to acknowledge black lives further complicates the notion that “they” truly believe that black lives are a part of the ALL lives they tout. There is reciprocal value in these types of conversations, and we imbue our allies and all to do something differently. My hope is the suggestions listed below will serve as a starting point in an effort to retain that innocence that celebrates the beauty of the world and not the perils of humanity.
1. My first recommendation to start these tough conversations with young impressionable minds is to do just that, START somewhere. As the quote states, “there are two mistakes one can make along the road to truth…not going all the way, and not starting” –Buddha
2. Acknowledge your own blind spots or micro aggressions before having these conversations. Be open to evaluating your lens of perspective before influencing theirs.
3. Choose your words carefully. Words have the power to embolden or dishearten. Which will you be responsible for? Our children are watching, listening and responding.
4. Identify teachable moments. Nurturing these moments help to impart tolerance and understanding. Our children look to us to find meaning in this world, so take advantage of those opportunities.
5. Discover parallels through avenues of interest like gaming, sports, and arts.
6. Utilize technology. Depending on the age, utilize social media as a catalyst for discussion. Though radical thinking and misinformation can be found on some platforms, there are organizations and reputable institutions, like that post responsible content that can jumpstart the conversation.
7. Find mirrors and windows through literacy. Conversations about race are not just about how others see you, but how you see yourself in the world. Find the mirrors and windows of opportunity to teach them about themselves and those around them. Cicely Lewis, founder of the literacy initiative READ WOKE, provides a comprehensive list of books that are authored by or have main characters who are people of color.
8. The Arts. The arts promote confidence, ensemble ethic, unity, and empathy. Young learners can create their own art (visual or performance) or attend an artistic experience and use it as the impetus for discussion.
THE VIRTUAL PREMIERE OF
A KIDS PLAY ABOUT RACISM
AWARD-WINNING TYA ARTIST KHALIA DAVIS LEADS AN ALL BLACK CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM FROM ACROSS THE COUNTRY IN ADAPTING JELANI MEMORY’S A KIDS BOOK ABOUT RACISM
37 TYA THEATRES ACROSS THE NATION ARE CO-PRODUCING THE VIRTUAL PERFORMANCE, LED BY BAY AREA CHILDREN’S THEATRE, SEATTLE CHILDREN’S THEATRE, AND ALLIANCE THEATRE
The new work is adapted and directed by award-winning director and TYA artist Khalia Davis and will be brought to life by an entirely Black and BIPOC cast and creative team from across the United States, including Seattle-based educators and artists Johamy Morales (Seattle Children’s Theatre Director of Education), Brodrick Santeze Ryans (Seattle Children’ Theatre Education Coordinator), Jason Turner (Museum Educator and Tour Guide for the Northwest African American Museum), Nikki Toombs (Education Director at True Colors Theatre), Marquicia (Qui Qui) Dominguez (Seattle Based Teaching Artist) and Amberlee Joers (Seattle Theatre Group’s Broadway Education Administrator).
As part of the production, educational materials developed by SCT in collaboration with the Northwest African American Museum will extend the experience and enhance age-appropriate engagement. “SCT is proud to be co-producing A Kid’s Play About Racism in collaboration with the talented artists and institutions from across the nation" says SCT Managing Director Kevin Malgesini, "Khalia Davis and Jelani Memory’s work is a profound way to elevate Black voices and share them with young people. This production also serves as a reminder that while our doors are closed, we are still making powerful art that connects our local, regional and national communities during this unprecedented time." All 37 partnering theatres are members of Theatre for Young Audiences USA (TYA/USA), the national organization representing the field of theatre for children and family audiences.
“I jumped at the opportunity to adapt Jelani Memory's book A Kids Book About Racism into a theatrical piece for young audiences simply because it meant we were recognizing the importance of including children in these difficult conversations,” shared lead artist Khalia Davis. “This show embraces the full spectrum of emotional response children may have as they navigate comprehending racism and how it may affect them."
“When I wrote A Kids Book About Racism, I wrote it from my own kids. I never could have imagined it would have spread so far and wide to thousands of kids all over the world, or turned into a nationwide theatrical event. I am thrilled to see what Khalia and these other amazing artists create,” offered Jelani Memory, whose book provides the inspiration for the production. A Kids Book about Racism is part of Memory’s children’s book publishing company A Kids Book About, which offers titles on a range of big topics to explore including feminism, belonging, gratitude, cancer, and many more.
The scale and breadth of this co-production has been made possible in part through the network cultivated by TYA/USA, which connects organizations and artists across the country focused on theatre for young people and families. Through the last few months, TYA/USA has offered a range of programming to provide deep connections and resource sharing in response to COVID-19. Through this network, TYA theatres across the country have been able to come together to find ways to support each other and their audiences through new and innovative collaboration models.
A Kids Play About Racism will be streaming on Broadway On Demand on August 1 and 2 along with accompanying interviews and educational videos.
A Kids Play About Racism is adapted and directed by Khalia Davis, with music composed by Justin Ellington and Costume Design by Ron McCann (California). It will be performed by Davied Morales (California), Angel Adedokun (California), Moses Goods (Hawaii), Rapheal Hamilton (Arizona), Isaiah Harris (Texas), Jessenia Ingram (Georgia), and Regan Sims (New York).
The work is produced by Seattle Children’s Theatre, Bay Area Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre, in partnership with Adventure Theatre MTC, Arts on the Horizon, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Chicago Children's Theatre, Children's Theater of Madison, Children’s Theatre Company, Childsplay, Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, Coterie Theatre, Dallas Children's Theater, Dare to Dream Theatre, Des Moines Performing Arts, Filament Theatre, First Stage, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Imagination Stage, The Kennedy Center, Magik Theatre, Metro Theater Company, Nashville Children's Theatre, New York City Children's Theater, Oregon Children's Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Pink Umbrella Theater Company, ReNew Productions, Rose Theater, Seattle Children's Theatre The Growing Stage - The Children's Theatre of New Jersey, The Gottabees, The Open Eye Theater, TheatreWorksUSA, Trike Theatre, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University, and Orpheum Theatre Group.
About Khalia Davis: Khalia Davis (she/her) is a bicoastal multidisciplinary artist splitting her time between the San Francisco/Bay Area and New York. Directed and devised new works with prominent theaters such as Bay Area Children’s Theater, Atlantic Theater Company’s Atlantic for Kids, New York City Children’s Theater, Spellbound Theatre and more. Ms. Davis recently served as the Director of Inclusion and Education with Brooklyn Children’s Theatre restructuring their children’s musical theater programming through an anti-racism lens and currently teaches with New York City Children's Theater, the Atlantic Acting School, and for Disney Theatrical Group leading music and movement workshops and facilitating audience and community engagement. She is also an Artistic Associate for the nationally-known arts education organization The Story Pirates. As a performer, she has worked regionally and toured nationally on both coasts. Recently awarded the 2019 Emerging Leader Fellowship with TYA/USA and the NYCCT Leader Fellowship for 2019/2020. BA in Theater Arts from the University of Southern California. To learn more about Ms. Davis, check her out at www.khaliadavis.com.
About TYA/USA:Theatre for Young Audiences/USA (TYA/USA) is the leading national organization representing over 1,000 member theatres, organizations, and individual arts professionals across the United States committed to the professional field of theatre for children, young adults, and families. Recently, 1200 professionals from 46 states and 21 countries participated in the 2020 TYA/USA Virtual Festival & Conference. Dedicated to ensuring that all young people have access to high-quality theatre experiences, TYA/USA offers a variety of programming that connects professionals working in the sector through in-person gatherings and virtual sessions; provides opportunities for field-wide learning and leadership development; disseminates field news and research through a variety of print and online channels; and advances the field both internally and externally through a range of advocacy efforts. Founded in 1965, TYA/USA is the only theatre organization in the United States which has the development of professional theatre for young audiences and international exchange as its primary mandates. TYA/USA is the United States Center for the International Association of Theatre for Children and Young People (ASSITEJ). More information can be found at www.tyausa.org.
About Broadway On Demand: Broadway On Demand is the premiere streaming service offering an extensive and wide-ranging library of video on demand content, exclusive livestream events, interactive platforms, and educational resources. It is designed as a virtual performing arts complex offering not only Broadway shows and movie musicals but also, individual artists, concert series, performance venues, and theatres around the world. Additionally, using a unique licensing interface, approved middle school, high school, and college productions will have the opportunity to be streamed to a global audience. Broadway On Demand fulfills Broadway’s long-held promise of being the ‘longest street in the world’.
As we welcome July, we are taking a moment to look back at an extraordinary—though unprecedented—year and acknowledge that we could not be here without each and every person who has shared their support of SCT and theatre for young audiences.
So, please join us in an epic exclamation of thanks…
TO OUR DRAMA SCHOOL FAMILIES:
- Serve 436 students in 14 states in the first month of virtual Summer Drama Classes. We cannot wait to see what July and August bring!
- Bring 18 teaching artists onto staff for the summer to lead classes like Sketch Comedy, Playwriting, Story Drama, and much more.
- Continue our Summer Internship Program by welcoming 9 college students and recent graduates to assist us virtually as Teaching Artist and Arts Administration Interns.
- Introduce a new slate of summer classes focused making space for underrepresented voices in the BIPOC, LGBTQ+, and sensory friendly communities.
TO OUR EDUCATORS:
TO OUR TICKET BUYERS & SUBSCRIBERS:
TO OUR DONORS:
- Since March, 1,499 tickets were donated back to the theater
- SCT has had 1,429 first time donors (and counting!)
“SCT continues to examine our internal practices toward becoming an anti-racist organization and better serve our youth. We have a long way to go, but in this necessary time we hear our community and vow to continue serving by doing our part,” says Johamy Morales, SCT’s Director of Education. “As a leader in the arts community it is our responsibility to uphold the voices and stories that continue to be underrepresented in our field, and to champion more equitable access to programming, on our stages, behind the curtain, in our classrooms, and as we engage and work in service to our community.”
Among the new slate of classes is ‘The Art of Drag’, a one week class designed for LGBTQ+ youth and their allies which will explore the cultural and historical significance of Drag Performance while teaching students how to create their own drag persona. Taught by local Seattle Drag Queen, Isis, and Drag King, Dan D'Lite, this class aims to create a comfortable space for LGBTQ+ youth to grow and create.
Also included is Rise Up: Triple Threat, Rise Up: Short Plays & Stand Up: Playwrights for Change, a series of classes designed for students who identify as Black, Indigenous, or People of Color where they can explore and create works written for them and aimed to ignite the power of social change through different areas of drama. Through the playwriting course, students will learn the fundamentals of storytelling based on their own experience. A variety of Triple Threat courses will celebrate musicals like The Wiz, In the Heights, and Allegiance written specifically for communities of color and will be instructed by BIPOC teaching artists.
Finally, a variety of Sensory Drama classes are being offered and are designed for students with disabilities, particularly those with sensory processing challenges, to explore drama with accommodations that meet their needs. Visual schedules, captioning, ASL, and accommodating motor movement will be used as the foundation for these classes and led by Teaching Artist and SCT’s Sensory Drama Specialist, Maddie Napel.
To make all offerings as accessible as possible, financial assistance is being offered to those who meet federal guidelines through the simple process of a one-time application. SCT will evaluate these applications on a case by case basis depending on the needs of the family with the goal of being as accommodating as possible. Payment plans will also be made available for those who may need it.
“It is our goal to embrace the opportunities provided by these unprecedented challenges to better connect with families and the world,” said Morales, adding that 24 students have registered for June classes who live outside of Washington State. “Because classes are being held online, we can reach students from new communities and invite them to learn through our expansive curriculum, including our new and diverse offerings which allow educational space for underrepresented voices.”
SCT’s virtual summer classes are available for students 3.5-18 years old. To learn more about SCT’s summer programming, including July and August registration dates, please visit our website. For updates on SCT’s evolving position on COVID-19 and how it is affecting the theatre and it’s programming, please visit our blog.
I write today to share that after extensive conversations with SCT’s Board of Trustees and following the guidance from the CDC and King County officials, we have made the difficult decision to forgo producing a 20-21 season. Simply put, we cannot commit resources to produce a season while long-term restrictions and closures remain uncertain.
We have been able to keep our options open thanks to our dedicated community of donors, patrons, and Seattle’s amazing collection of supportive funding agencies and foundations, but the reality of the coronavirus pandemic demands that we slow down. As a result, the Board of Trustees and I have made the difficult decision to eliminate 75% of all staff including our production team, teaching artists, administrative and artistic staff. Effective June 22, 18 employees and a reduced teaching artist faculty will remain on staff and our focus for the year will be to support young people, families, and educators through SCT Drama School, Arts Based Learning and Community Engagement. We are also re-committing our efforts to create more equitable programming and inclusive environments for our patrons, students and staff when we reopen.
Like so many of us, this year has been extraordinarily difficult, but despite our current situation, we are optimistic for what the future holds. These decisions were made with the mission of SCT held close, so that we can remain nimble, adapt to the changing world, and emerge financially sound when we return to the stage.
As we have all grappled with the significant losses to the arts and culture sector, it has become apparent that theatre is more important than ever; it builds empathy, ignites joy, amplifies the voices of young people and inspires confidence in our shared hope for the future. We need these things now and in the days to come, and we look forward to celebrating the art making that has been a part of this community for 45 years. When the time is right, I hope you will join us when we reopen and begin SCT’s next chapter.
SCT Summer Intern Class of 2020:
Emma Bentsen - Teaching Artist Intern
Jordan Ben-Shmuel - Teaching Artist Intern
Celeste Bernstein - Arts Administration Intern
Victoria Hernandez - Teaching Artist Intern
Gabriela Tatone - Teaching Artist Intern
Chloe Tower - Teaching Artist Intern
Cassie Paulsen - Teaching Artist Intern
Fabiano Nardone - Teaching Artist Intern
Matias Rafael Cardinale - Teaching Artist Intern
Meet your instructors:
Photo by Keith Johnson/Parade Images
Photo courtesy of the artist
Know of other resources that should be included? Let us know in the comments below.
- A Kids Play About Racism official site
- Active Audience Guide - curated activities for Pre K - 5th grade students, and tools to help you continue the conversation around racism.
- A Kids Play About Racism: Timeout W/ Brodrick Podcast - During this episode, SCT Education Coordinator Brodrick Ryans interviews Khalia Davis, Davied Morales, and Justin Ellington who are all a part of the creative team for A Kids Play About Racism.
- A Kids Book About Racism - Read and purchase the book by Jelani Memory that inspired the creative team to have conversations about racism and to bring these essential discussions to families in a new way.
- Honoring and Celebrating Juneteenth from New Victory Arts Break - Our friends at the New Victory Theatre have put together a wonderful series to engage the whole family in honoring and celebrating Juneteeth thorough art, drama, poetry, and community.
- 6 Museums Join Forces to Commemorate 155th Anniversary of Juneteenth Join NAAM and 5 other Black museums from across the country to commemorate the 155th anniversary of Juneteenth.
- Celebrating Juneteenth From the National Museum of African American History & Culture - Want to know more about Juneteenth? Learn from Lonnie Bunch III, Founding Director of the National Museum of African American History and Culture, as he leads a tour through our Slavery and Freedom exhibition to celebrate #Juneteenth
- Observing Juneteenth in 2020 from PBS - Parents, guardians and educators check out this resource if you want to learn more about the historical context for today’s conversions around racism, freedom and the long shadow of slavery. There is even a video geared towards children as a part of this resource.
- 10 Children's Books Celebrating Juneteenth
- Kids' Books to Celebrate Juneteenth
From the SCT Community:
- New Poem: How Reflection Works by Idris Goodwin (Playwright of SCT's 2018 production of And In This Corner: Cassius Clay)
- AOC(S) Podcast by Dedra Woods, (Mother in SCT's 2019 production of Corduroy and Rose in 2018's The Little Prince)
- Timeout w/Brodrick by Brodrick Ryans (SCT Education staff member and teaching artist)
Book Lists with Books for Youth of All Ages:
- 26 Children's Books to Support Conversations on Race, Racism and Resistance from EmbraceRace.org
- Black Art History: 10 Children’s Books Illuminate the Lives of Important African American Artists and Photographers from Culture Type
- Coretta Scott King Book Award Winners from Common Sense Media
- Children’s Books By Brilliant Black Women: #OwnVoices Authors & Illustrators from Books for Littles
Resources made for Young People:
- CNN and 'Sesame Street' to host a town hall addressing racism Live at 7 am PST on Saturday 6/6/20
- Kojo For Kids: Jason Reynolds Talks About Racism And The Protests
Podcasts for Parents and Guardians:
Resources and Articles For Parents and Guardians:
- 8 Helpful Tips for Talking to your Children about the Black Lives Matter Movement: article written by Nikki Tombs, Education director at True Colors Theatre
- Raising Race Conscious Children from raceconscious.org
- Talking About Race from The National Museum of African American History and Culture
- Social Justice Resources from the Children's Community School
- For Parents of Black Children: Black Pain, Black Joy, and Racist Fear: Supporting Black Children in a Hostile World from Psychology Benefits Society
- Talking With Children About Racism, Police Brutality and Protests from Aha Parenting
- Being Black Is Not a Risk Factor from the National Black Child Development Institute
- Anti-Racism For Kids 101: Starting To Talk About Race from Books for Littles
- How to Talk to Kids about Race and Racism from Parent Toolkit
- Your Kids Aren't Too Young to Talk About Race: Resource Roundup from Pretty Good Design
- Additional resources complied by TYA/USA in collaboration with other organizations
- Teaching for Change: Building Social Justice Starting in the Classroom
- Teaching for Black Lives: A New Book from Rethinking Schools from Teaching for Black Lives
- Lesson Plan About the Death of George Floyd from PBS NewsHour Extra for Grades 6-12 including a news video & discussion questions about the protests & police brutality
- RACE & ETHNICITY from Teaching Tolerance
Artists and Arts Organizations:
SCT recommits to the examination of our internal practices and will continue the difficult work of becoming an anti-racist organization. We do not have all the answers and we know that as an institution we have a long way to go, but in this necessary time we vow to do our part. We will use our privilege and leadership to uphold the voices and stories which continue to be so underrepresented in our field, and to champion more equitable access to programming, while upholding SCT’s values on our stages, behind the curtain, through our classrooms, and as we engage and work in the communities we serve.
It is our responsibility to show up in these conversations that will impact our communities for generations to come. We commit to working towards ensuring that all children see themselves reflected in our work and have access to creative environments where they can learn and grow in community. To all young people—especially those of color—you deserve better.
Seattle Children’s Theatre is internationally recognized as a leading producer of professional theatre, educational programs and new works for young audiences, which have entertained, inspired and educated over 4 million children and their families. Since its inception, SCT has produced more than 260 plays, 115 of which are world premieres. Each season nearly 60,000 students and teachers experience the magic of live theatre through our Student Access Series. For this program, SCT subsidizes $1.3 million in significantly reduced and free tickets to make attending the theatre more accessible for schools in the region. SCT is sponsored by Microsoft, Shubert Foundation, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and ArtsFund.