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Chicago Children's Theatre Announces A Kids Play About Racism Virtual Premiere

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Chicago Children's Theatre Announces A Kids Play About Racism Virtual Premiere

Chicago Children's Theatre has joined a groundbreaking collaboration among 37 Theaters for Young Audiences across the United States to present the virtual premiere of A Kids Play About Racism, a theatrical adaptation of Jelani Memory's "A Kids Book About Racism."

Premiering August 1 and 2 for free on the streaming platform Broadway On Demand (, A Kids Play About Racism will utilize theater to offer young children and families a way to engage in meaningful conversation about race.

The new work is adapted and directed by award-winning director and TYA artist Khalia Davis and will be brought to life by an entirely Black and BIPOC cast and creative team from across the United States.

As part of the production, educational materials developed by Seattle Children's Theatre in collaboration with the Northwest African American Museum will extend the experience and enhance age-appropriate engagement.

All 37 partnering theaters are members of Theatre for Young Audiences USA (TYA/USA), the national organization representing the field of theater for children and family audiences.The coalition is led by the lead producing team of Bay Area Children's Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta.

"I jumped at the opportunity to adapt Jelani Memory's book 'A Kids Book About Racism' into a theatrical piece for young audiences simply because it meant we were recognizing the importance of including children in these difficult conversations," shared lead artist Khalia Davis. "This show embraces the full spectrum of emotional response children may have as they navigate comprehending racism and how it may affect them."i??

"When I wrote 'A Kids Book About Racism,' I wrote it for my own kids. I never could have imagined it would have spread so far and wide to thousands of kids all over the world, or turned into a nationwide theatrical event. I am thrilled to see what Khalia and these other amazing artists create," offered Jelani Memory, whose book provides the inspiration for the production.

The scale and breadth of this co-production has been made possible in part through the network cultivated by TYA/USA, which connects organizations and artists across the country focused on theater for young people and families. Through the last few months, TYA/USA has offered a range of programming to provide deep connections and resource sharing in response to COVID-19. Through this network, TYA theaters across the country have been able to come together to find ways to support each other and their audiences through new and innovative collaboration models.

A Kids Play About Racism is adapted and directed by Khalia Davis, with music composed by Justin Ellington and Costume Design by Ron McCann (California). It will be performed by Davied Morales (California), Angel Adedokun (California), Moses Goods (Hawaii), Rapheal Hamilton (Arizona), Isaiah Harris (Texas), Jessenia Ingram (Georgia), and Regan Sims (New York).

The work is produced by Bay Area Children's Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre, and Alliance Theatre, in partnership with Adventure Theatre MTC, Arts on the Horizon, Children's Theatre of Charlotte, Chicago Children's Theatre, Children's Theater of Madison, Children's Theatre Company, Childsplay, Children's Theatre of Cincinnati, Coterie Theatre, Dallas Children's Theater, Dare to Dream Theatre, Des Moines Performing Arts, Filament Theatre, First Stage, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Imagination Stage, The Kennedy Center, Magik Theatre, Metro Theater Company, Nashville Children's Theatre, New York City Children's Theater, Oregon Children's Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Pink Umbrella Theater Company, ReNew Productions, Rose Theater, Seattle Children's Theatre The Growing Stage - The Children's Theatre of New Jersey, The Gottabees, The Open Eye Theater, TheatreWorksUSA, Trike Theatre, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University, and Orpheum Theatre Group.

"A Kids Book about Racism" is part of Memory's children's book publishing company A Kids Book About, which offers titles on a range of big topics to explore including feminism, belonging, gratitude, cancer and many more.

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