On Thursday January 18th, Stage the Change celebrated its 8th year. Close to 700 participants participated virtually from all corners of the country. Things looked a little different this year. Students participated with their schools from their school buildings, their homes and a combination of the two.
In-person performances and interactions were truly missed but it allowed the event to go national, something creator Ruthie Pincus always dreamed of, "Stage the Change North, South, East and West". It was important, with the issues facing students today including the pandemic and Black Lives Matter, for this program that empowers students to use their artistic talents to inspire social change to continue.
Over 30 submissions were received from students in the categories of theatre, dance and film to be showcased in the workshop. Due to the shortened format this year only two were chosen to be shown at the conference.
"Chess", a short film on racism was one of two projects chosen.
The virtual format allowed Dominique Morisseau, a Macarthur Genius Grant Fellow and award winning playwright to speak from Los Angeles. Ms. Morisseau is known as a story editor and co-producer for the series Shameless on Showtime. She also wrote the book for Ain't to Proud-the Life and Times of the Temptations. The panel discussion included Zi Akjhan, Resident Director of Hamilton, Brandon Victor Dixon, a two time Tony and Grammy winner and Krystal Joy Brown, both performing in Hamilton.
Students also participated in workshops with:
- The Urban Bush Women, Dance for Every Body
- Clement Mensah, Dancing to Connect
- Idris Goodwin, #ENOUGH and Writing the 10 Minute Play
Theara J Ward, Paige Fraiser, Embodying Social Justice Through Dance
Katie Rainy and Javan Howard, Protest Poetry: Art -Making & Activism in Online Spaces
Barbara McAdams, Staging Activism with Interviews and Moment Work
- Jim Hoare, Lysna Marzani and Peter Hoare, Writing for Stage and Screen with Social Voice
The Hauppauge Teachers Association has been a proud supporter of Stage the Change and our colleague Ruthie Pincus. We look forward to watching this program grow.