Year 3 of *Choosing Sides* Begins
We've started rehearsing for year three of *Choosing Sides* at Horace Mann Middle School. *Choosing Sides* is a three-day interactive play that explores bullying with middle school students. I developed *Choosing Sides* in collaboration with Pulaski Technical College, SafePlaces, and Horace Mann Middle School. I am excited about this year because I have revised the script and facilitations, and I'm ready to try out the revisions. Last year was very effective but I played it safe. I relied heavily on our *Choosing Sides* booklets for facilitations. These were booklets with specially designed written activities that inspired additional discussion. The teacher and students really loved the booklets. They all felt the booklets provided an emotionally safe way to engage with this difficult topic. This year we're doing a lot more on-your-feet activities. Hopefully, we can keep it emotionally safe but also get into some more meaningful conversations. Above you see my actors, Stephanie Ong and Chris Straw rehearsing. I will write more in the coming weeks!
Paula Morell and I will facilitate an autobiographical writing and performance workshop for FREE! Hope you can make it!
*Lily & the Apple Seed* Reading
On October 1, the *Lily* cast and director Stacy Pendergraft gave me the luxury of a full reading of the play. This reading is very early in the writing process, and I really appreciated their willingness to share their time and talents. We were also so lucky to have Judy Goss and Cheri Devol and her family in attendance. Judy provided great playwrighting insight, and Cheri gave us wonderful technical ideas. Right now, I am letting their feedback percolate in my mind. I intend to revise again after my Horace Mann project goes up on Nov 2nd. Until then....I'll keep you updated on Horace Mann and, at some point, I'm going to write up a post on the devising project I directed at Hendrix in September. Busy, busy in the best of ways!
About the Author: April Gentry-Sutterfield is a director, deviser, educator, and mom who uses theatre as a tool for social justice, education, and community engagement.