A Kids Play About Racism—a virtual show about something all too real
Children notice racial differences at a very young age. They may internalize racial bias before they start school.
So talking about race and racism with children is not only age-appropriate but also never soon enough. A Kids Play About Racism is a way to get that conversation started.
The Coterie Theatre, in partnership with 37 Theatre for Young Audiences (TYA)-associated companies across the country, is co-producing online performances of A Kids Play About Racism for two days only—Saturday, August 1, and Sunday, August 2. The new work, for children aged 5 and older, streams for free at Broadway on Demand (registration required). Heading up this inclusive collaboration is the Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.
Directed by TYA artist Khalia Davis, who adapted it from Jelani Memory’s A Kids Book About Racism (from the author’s series A Kids Book About™), the show “embraces the full spectrum of emotional response children may have,” Davis says, as they discover racism. And it’s important to engage children, she says, in the difficult dialogue surrounding race.
With songs by Justin Ellington (music) and Davied Morales (lyrics), and with a BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color) cast and creative team from across the country, the production adds educational materials developed by Seattle Children’s Theatre with the Northwest African American Museum.
Theaters and performing artists have taken to our computer screens in force these past weeks and months. TYA, too, has sought to continue to connect with its audiences in resourceful ways. A Kids Play About Racism gives families the platform and the opportunity to help kids comprehend what they already see around them.