The students of WG Drama and SAA (Students for Awareness and Action) produced a showcase of material for the ALL-Write week of presentations we hosted in the Little Theater the last week of Feb.
We were so fortunate to have been given two separate daytime performances for the students from various classes, and one evening performance on Friday Feb 27th at 7:00 pm for parents and community.
The cast of the 2015 Black History Month Showcase for ALL -WRITE week
The show had a huge cast and in the end was a huge success!
The show had original poetry, spoken word, dance, theater cuttings and rap. the students worked on pieces for several months and we assembled the production by staging the pieces that were ready for audience. This wasn't a replacement for the MLK Assembly, it was more a way to participate in the English Department's week of honoring writer's and literature.
We were able to use the stage to bring a theatrical element to the celebration. We included a slideshow of title screens, information about some of the pieces and people being honored. The students also broke the fourth wall and often spoke directly at the audience.
Some of the students performed published works written for the stage that tell stories with specific perspectives of the Black American experience.
Brandon Douglas and Brittany Patton performed pieces by the great American Pulitzer Prize-Winning playwright August Wilson. Brandon performed a piece from the play Piano Lesson as Boy Willie struggling to define his purpose as working man, and Brittany performed a piece from Ma Rainey's Black Bottom were she performed the part of a 1960's black vocalist talking to a white record executive. Two very powerful pieces.
Goldie Raznick and Ben Hardin performed a wonderfully charming and socially relevant piece from the brilliant little play Driving Miss Daisy by Alfred Ulry.
Che Askew, Barisuana Kaanagbara, and our wonderful quartet of girls all performed songs (rap, R&B and some gospel. All pieces were emotionally stirring and extremely exciting to hear. The performers are all verterens on the WG Little Theater Stage and they didn't hold back. The Quartet is made up of Chandler Turner ('14 Grad), Essence Tyler, Imani Oliver, and Alyssa Lang-Taylor.
Chance Manley and Amara Sheppard performed "Phenomenal Woman" by Maya Angelou. Tamika Askew, Jakini Ingram and Octavia Swampshire (not pictured) performed a piece they discovered online by a girl who wrote a SLAM poem for Arsenio Hall.
Marquis Houston performed a spoken word piece with "Tim" the puppet. Marquis wowed the crowd with his Sesame Street omage that talked about race and being a black student. He brought a sense of play to the topic and used puppetry to tell his story with an hip hop twist.
(Puppet operated by Peter Otto and puppet designed and built by Mr. Schaefer)
Several pieces in the showcase were serious topics and some touched the funny bone. The material was sometimes difficult to express and the audiences were fabulous and provided an open ear.
Dorian Palmer performed a wonderful piece he wrote that with some staging provided a very powerful image for the spoken workd piece. Dorian is a pro and brought a real sense of empowerment to the moment. He always has a lot to say and this piece was a good commentary on the times as he sees them...
THE PRODUCTION TEAM
Produced by: WG Drama and SAA
Directed by: Mr. Schaefer
Stage manged by: Crystal Lampkins
Tech Director: Jonah Schnell
Light op: Andrew Bristow
Sound op: Nick Wylie
Projectionist: Robert Hood
Pianist: Peter Otto
Photography: Bret Waelterman and the WGHS ECHO
Brittany Patton Marquis Houston Che Askew Brandon Douglas
Goldie Raznick Ben Hardin Amara Sheppard Barisuana Kaanagbara
Octavia Swampshire Chandler Turner Alyssa Lang-Taylor Essence Tyler
Jakini Ingram Che Askew Nia- Michelle Peter Otto
Imani Oliver Chance Manley Aaron Tate De'Andre Scott
Ed Flynn Dennis Allen
Watch the video of our evening performance of the whole SHOWCASE
on Youtube at