Presented by Company One Theatre
Plays written by Inda Craig-Galván, Francisca Da Silveira, and Idris Goodwin
Directed by Pascale Florestal, India Nicole Burton, Sarah Shin
Dramaturgy by Elena Morris, Jessica Scout Malone, Ilana M. Brownstein
Featuring Adrian Peguero, Ireon Roach, Mal Malme, Micah Rosegrant and Regine Vital
For participant bios, action steps, and additional resources, visit our website at https://companyone.org/remaking-america
Review by Afrikah Smith
YOUTUBE — Using their platform to bring awareness to issues that impact Bostonians amid the coronavirus, Company One presented Remaking America: An Inaugural Message to the New Administration on January 26.
A night filled with art and conversation, C1 presented three commissioned short plays by Surge Lab playwrights, Inda Craig-Galván, Francisca Da Silveira, and Idris Goodwin; all who focused their plays on issues on access to housing, mental health, and education. An address to the new Biden-Harris administration, it is with the utmost importance that they acknowledge these issues affected by the pandemic and recent events.
In-between each reading, Jessie Baxter interviewed community leaders Carolyn Chou (Asian American Resource Workshop), Marlene Boyette (Leela Yoga & Wellness), and Aiyah Josiah-Faeduwor (Millennial Rhode Island), who all spoke more on their community involvement in the Greater Boston area.
“Dwelling Codes” by Inda Craig-Galván started the evening. Characters Coley and Lola are getting ready to welcome a child at the same time they are presented with the daunting possibility of losing their home. With moments of revelation between characters, it made me wonder what could happen if Coley took a leap. Would she have had access to safer housing and resources? Speaking volumes to the issues tied to gentrification and lack of affordable housing, “Dwelling Codes” gave audiences a look into what could have happened if government officials intervened at the right moment.
“inside out” by Francisca Da Silveira had me in tears. Speaking truth to power on the need to confront our losses to heal, I was in awe of the great use of devices in this short play. Da Silveira’s writing, in hand with the performance by Regine Vital and Ireon Roach, created such an intimate space where we were confronted with our own selves and how we have coped with all that has happened. Amplifying the need to break down barriers for low-income families to access mental health resources and the importance of representation, “inside out” holds a mirror to our current realities that we must face.
The final reading, “THE MISEDUCATION OF LON AND DREA,” written by Idris Goodwin, left me with a lot of questions of things that were implicitly unsaid. Focusing on two parents of color debating on what a “good education” looks like for their child, Lon and Drea’s concern for their son’s quality of education were valid. A universal topic for many parents, the options between homeschooling, public, and private school were all undeniable choices to consider. But it only scratched the surface compared to the issues many families of color have struggled with this past year.
Since schools moved online in the spring of 2020, journalists reported the effects the pandemic had on students of color with and without disabilities, whose access to internet, electricity, and resources were heavily impacted by the prolonged stay at home order. Snowballing the culmination of issues related to access, curriculum, and educational resources, it’s fair to say that more can be said on how the education system fails BIPOC students’ chances for success beyond K-12.
In the end, this call-to-action event left me sitting with anecdotes to reflect on as we transition into a new year. A beautiful mix of theatre and community dialogue, Remaking America tasked us with reimagining what a future for fair changes in housing, mental health, and education looks like; where local community leaders who have been doing the work are at the center of the conversation.
To read more on community resources and actions steps, and the chance to watch the performance, go to https://companyone.org/remaking-america/.
To support Company One Theatre, visit https://companyone.org/donate or Venmo @CompanyOne-Theatre.