Black History is alive and ‘now’ at the Metcalf

The theme of this year’s Black Theater Workshop was “The Roots.” The collaboration of ideas, poems, scenes and dance was molded into a solid theme under the faculty artistic direction of Kathryn Benley. The production, at the Metcalf Theater Feb. 11 through 13,  was student written and produced under the SIUE Department of Theater and Dance.

“I know a lot of campuses do a ‘one act festival’ but the Black Theater Workshop, in the middle of Black History Month, it adds so much more meaning,” said student director, and political science senior, Cassaundra Sampson. “As an undergraduate it is amazing to get the opportunity to write something that is relevant today, put that on the stage with actors, and have friends and family come to see it… We are shedding light on important things and it makes me feel like I am making a difference. ”

Sampson has several pieces in ‘The Roots,’ including the piece that the overall performance is named for. When she started working on this year’s production she says she wanted to shed light on Native American’s and her generation’s civil rights fight. She has a minor in Black Studies and felt it would be interesting to turn a slave narrative she did as part of her course work into a scene for the Black Theater Workshop.

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