Photo courtesy of Rylie Ward
For the first time in Wilson theater history, an all-Black cast will take the stage. “Black is…?” will be performed at the black box at 7:30 p.m. on Friday May 11 and Saturday May 12. Similar to the length and style of the One Acts, the spring play will feature a series of five short plays written about being Black. One of these was by Black a playwright, whereas others were written by The Wilson Players or by cast members.
The plays are student-directed, with seniors Rylie Ward and John Watson acting as co-directors. The spring play was originally going to be “The Colored Museum,” a satirical series of vignettes about the Black experience in America. Now, the acts will have a wider array of scenes, with some being serious and others being more humorous. There will be one overarching play, “Lights Up,” that will be performed in sections located at the beginning and at the end of the show.
To choose the plays, the actors were presented with several options by Performing Arts teacher Dan Iwaniec, and got to “pick pieces that really resonated with them,” Ward explained. Other scripts were created by the cast and by the Players, and were based off of things people said either during cast meetings or in interviews they conducted with students around Wilson. “Everybody has participated in making a script, but two are ones that people wrote just themselves,” Ward added.
Freshman Nikki Keating wrote a scene, titled “Oreo,” about fellow cast member sophomore Ayomi Wolff’s experience of being mixed. “I think it will be interesting to see how the audience reacts to it, and how people will perceive it, because I think it is something that people don’t really talk about,” Keating said.
Looking forward, both Ward and Watson are interested in more directing opportunities. “I think I have more confidence now… I’ve learned with the cast,” Watson said.
Tickets for students will be $5, and $10 for adults.