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DWB (DRIVING WHILE BLACK) Now Available for Streaming

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dwb (driving while black) is available from October 23, 2020 at 9:00am ET through October 29, 2020 at 9:00pm ET.

Baruch Performing Arts Center and Opera Omaha present the virtual, directed-for-video premiere of dwb (driving while black) from October 23, 2020 at 9:00am ET through October 29, 2020 at 9:00pm ET. Tickets are pay-what-you-can and can be purchased via the BPAC portal here. There will also be a post-screening live talk, with details to come. A previously recorded excerpt of dwb (driving while black) can be viewed below!

"This March was to have been the New York premiere of dwb (driving while black) at Baruch Performing Arts Center," said Ted Altschuler, Director, Baruch Performing Arts Center. "A concise, taut 50-minute sung monodrama, it is a musical provocation to engage with the essential conversation of our day: racial justice. Live performances are paused for the moment, but the need for learning and dialogue is not. Given the brevity of the piece and the uncertainty of live performances, our organizations are collaborating to help create a high-quality version of dwb directed explicitly for streaming presentation. Not everyone has the capacity to create content in this moment, but the conversation this piece provokes is urgent. As an arts center located on one of the most diverse public university campuses in the U.S., we exist to promote inquiry and discourse, something we will encourage via post-performance events."

dwb (driving while black) isa new chamber opera about racism, erasure, and the fear and love that black parents experience when they send their kids out into a world that too often sees them not as a child, but as a threat. This powerful music-drama documents the all-too-familiar story of an African American parent whose beautiful brown boy approaches driving age. What should be a celebration of independence and maturity turns out to be fraught with the anxiety of "driving while black."

After concert performances of dwb in January 2019 in Kansas City, the community discussion that followed stirred feelings among the audience and the piece became the backbone of media coverage raising awareness about racial disparity in traffic stops and police/community relations generally in Kansas City.


Roberta Gumbel, librettist/soprano

Susan Kander, composer

Chip Miller, director

New Morse Code - Hannah Collins, cello and Michael Compitello, percussion

Videography: Four/Ten Media

Audio: Ryan Streber, Oktaven Studios


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