AMERIVILLE teaches about crisis
I couldn't help but thinking, as I sat tonight in the joint production between Western Michigan University and the company UNIVERSES, about how inequality has been affecting all of us for so long. In thinking back to why I'm losing my job at Calvin College, this crisis my institution faces, that is hurting middle class families directly (both the faculty being cut and the families who send their kids to Calvin). AMERIVILLE uses Hurricane Katrina as a catalyst for examining inequality across the board in America with everything from racism to homelessness to water to education. And it hits home. It's not the kind of play that hits the ball out of the park at every episodic turn, but it's layering of story and song builds up until you realize that in order to change this, we have to love America and we have to love one another and we have to be extremely intentional about that love.
You know, I had a very distinct dream that I just begun to work on when all of this hit and I'm so sad to say that I can't pursue it RIGHT now, but I will. As a wing of ADAPT theatre company, we were about to launch an after-school program in connection with Calvin College that would train our students tot teach theatre in the public schools. We had just begun to look for funds for this project and had landed on a number of partnering foundations and individuals to help us. The goal was to bring more kids who do not have access to the arts in their schools, into careers in theatre. To build equity of representation intentionally, across the board, in all areas of theatre from the shop to the stage and back. I was going to raise money so that a few of these kids could come to Calvin College every year. Wouldn't that be great?
The dream of the after-school program is not dead. We'll still do it, it just won't be in connection with Calvin. I need to write about what's happening to me with this crisis every day, because I feel it so deep. It really is like going through a divorce, but it's even worse in some ways. I'll try to clarify what those wounds are, because I think it's important.
Here's a link to more information on AMERIVILLE if you are interested.