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Dallas Children's Theater Facilitates Youth Chats for Social Justice

DCT’s goal is to make it easy for anyone to use their family-friendly productions to simply start these important conversations. 

Dallas Children's Theater Facilitates Youth Chats for Social Justice

Dallas Children's Theater has aligned with 15 community partners to date with a goal of bringing youth groups together to watch DCT-produced short plays about race, to share personal experiences, and to offer thoughts on how to eradicate the societal challenges associated with racism. A community-wide conversation takes place this Thursday, March 11 at 7PM and all are encouraged to attend. Actress and advocate Denise Lee, and Rev. Payton Parker of the First United Methodist Church of Lancaster will lead a group of young people in a meaningful conversation. Interested persons can register for this free event at dct.org/socialjustice/digital.

As part of this gathering, one or all of the less than 15-minute short plays will be viewed and will be followed by a facilitated discussion. In THE WATER GUN SONG (recommended for ages 6 and up), a mother tries to find the words to explain to her child why a water gun isn't simply a toy. The second show, NOTHING RHYMES WITH JUNETEENTH (recommended for ages 9 and up) finds a parent and child trying to complete a rap for a school project that helps people understand the true meaning of the holiday celebration. The third show, #MATTER, (recommended for ages 14 and up) features two former high school friends debating matters of life and race.

Written by playwright, poet, director, educator and organizer Idris Goodwin as his personal contribution to the Black Lives Matter movement, these plays were provided to youth theaters with an eye toward offering thought-provoking ways to open up the dialogue about race among young people and those who love them. According to Goodwin, "Through the stories of others, we reflect on our own. Since racism lives at the intersection of misinformation, ego, and unchecked power, the arts must counteract by cultivating personal reflection, learning, conversation and compassion."

Dallas Children's Theater is excited to use the power of theater to move these needed conversations forward. Participating partners are hosting small and large group sessions of their own via their church, school, company or other youth-oriented organizations at a time that works for them. Where needed, DCT is providing trained facilitators and other resources at no cost. DCT's goal is to make it easy for anyone to use their family-friendly productions to simply start these important conversations. To date, the following partners have been agreed to host a session and join this effort to spark dialogue among children, families and citizens for the ultimate betterment of us all:

Lead Partner:

Vision for Change, Inc.

Organization Partners:

AT&T Performing Arts Center

After School Dallas

Boys and Girls Club of Collin County

Capital One

Dallas Police Department

Faith Forward Dallas

First Unitarian Church of Dallas

First United Methodist Church of Lancaster

Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas

Greenhill School

The Hockaday School

Lake Highlands Area Moms and More Against Racism

Project Unity

United Way Dallas Women of Tocqueville Group

Through this initiative DCT and partners hope to build a coalition of youth ambassadors who can continue to share their thoughts on race wherever needed and whenever called upon.

Dallas Children's Theater is also interested in supporting anyone desiring to host an event themselves. Trained facilitators and talking prompts are available at no cost upon request by emailing family@dct.org.

This initiative is made possible with funding support from the Melinda and Jim Johnson Family Charitable Fund, The MR & Evelyn Hudson Foundation, North Texas Cares and Deborah and Craig Sutton.

Interested in hosting an event?

1. Email family@dct.org. Please provide:

a. the group name,

b. your contact info

c. an approx. # of participants

d. the target date for your event.

2. Receive all project information and links including starter questions.

3. Need a facilitator? Just ask.


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