Theatrical activist organization Level Forward will launch a new initiative, Arts Action Sessions, with scenes and cast members from Broadway productions of Slave Play and Jagged Little Pill. The project will feature filmed excerpts from the Tony-nominated works, paired with discussions with both cast members and experts in fields aligned with the shows' themes and creative exercises. Arts Action Sessions aims to engage people with the topics and themes of plays and musicals in ways that foster deeper understanding and conversations about the lived experiences of participants.
Slave Play cast members Joaquina Kalukango and Jakeem Dante Powell will participate in a three-day session on "The Black Toolbox of Empowerment" for university students through the program, to be guided by Carmen Morgan of artEquity February 24–26.
Lauren Patten, Celia Rose Gooding, and Kathryn Gallagher will be on hand for several Jagged Little Pill sessions in March, which will explore such topics as LGBTQIA+ identities, advocacy, and allyship, and creating a culture of consent. These sessions are given in partnership with Joyful Heart Foundation.
All sessions will culminate in creative exercises that put the content of the discussions into action.
"In college, I questioned the meaning of my dual roles as artist and citizen, though it is through my journey with Slave Play when answers have come into view," says Kalukango. "From the Black Out performances that gave Black people affordable access to a Broadway house where they experienced and processed theater in a safe space, to the Golden Collection that donated plays by Black playwrights to public libraries and community centers in all 50 states, and now with the honest conversations and healing interactions of Arts Action Sessions, we can continue to unpack and dismantle racist systems and practices that silence people of color. Working towards healing and equity begins with these difficult conversations."
For more information, visit LevelForward.co.