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10 SECONDS to Be Presented by Dallas Children's Theater, DC Youth Theater, and Imagination Stage

The newly-commissioned film, and screening on April 29, 2021, seeks to reimagine relationships between students and police.

On Thursday, April 29 at 5:30 PM (Central Standard Time), Dallas Children's Theater in collaboration with show producer, Imagination Stage, invites the community to join a virtual screening of this filmed stage play 10 Seconds.

The 45-minute screening will be followed by a 30-minute live panel discussion. Appropriate for ages 13 and up, the event is a part of the theaters' continuing commitment to using the power of their medium to spark important conversations around tough topics.

Based in Washington, DC, Imagination Stage's 10 Seconds, written by Miriam Gonzales and directed by LeeAnét Noble, explores a world where deeply rooted biases and misperceptions easily take hold. Life can often feel unnerving - and can change for better or worse in the blink of an eye depending on how we see each other. Ray and Jimi are Washington, DC high school students who navigate their young adult worlds and what it means to be young Black men in the city. Ray tells the story of a day - and "ten seconds" inside that day - that he and Jimi will never forget, sharing not only their perspectives, but also the views of the police they encounter. Through audience engagement and interactive moments, the film provides opportunities for reflection and discussion. By "stopping time," the audience is asked to imagine what might happen if everyone makes the effort to pause, listen to one another, question our assumptions, and consider the possibilities for change.

The event includes a virtual, interactive follow-up discussion, featuring a panel of subject matter resources who will discuss policing on a national level and how dynamics can be permanently changed when support groups work collaboratively and intentionally together. Facilitating is Denise Lee, Dallas Children's Theatre Social Justice Strategist and founder of Visions for Change, Inc. Panelists include: Officer Devalon Lee-Arkansas of the Dallas Police Department's (DPD) Youth Outreach Unit; Shontay Miles-Davis, former Metropolitan Police Department (DC) officer; Makenzie Grier, high school senior and member of the DPD Youth Leadership Council; and, from 10 Second's creative team, playwright Miriam Gonazles and actor Tre'mon Mills.

Joanne Seelig Lamparter, Imagination Stage's Artistic Director of Education and Theatre for Change, says "10 Seconds is a wonderful opportunity to challenge our audiences about the quick assumptions we all make of one another on a personal level. It takes a deep look into the ways systemic racism plays out in our communities while providing an opportunity to reimagine the future."

DCT Executive Director Robyn Flatt agrees with Joanne and believes that this event is a natural extension of the theater's own recent social justice work. Flatt stated, "Theater provides a real gathering place for these important conversations. I believe it is incumbent upon us to use our resources to help address these tough topics and ultimately solve these systemic problems that plague us."

Flatt also shared that she has had an interest in this project from the beginning. "I was moved by this idea when I heard about it three years ago. I am grateful to Imagination Stage for allowing us to be a part of the premiere. They and the playwright have spent over three years in conversation with young people and members of law enforcement. Combined with the audience to help determine the end of the story, I think this production makes for a very powerful experience, and I hope people will take advantage of it."

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