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Dallas Children's Theater Social Justice Plays Launch As Catalysts For Community Wide Youth Conversations

Launch postponed to March 1 due to weather, including DCT-led March 11 event.

Dallas Children's Theater Social Justice Plays Launch As Catalysts For Community Wide Youth Conversations

In an areawide call to action, Dallas Children's Theater (DCT) and partners are bringing youth groups together to watch three DCT-produced short plays about race and to share experiences and thoughts on how to eradicate the societal challenges associated with racism.

The second phase of DCT's Social Justice Play Series Initiative is called Youth Chats for Social Justice and will now begin on March 1 after weather-related challenges forced DCT to delay the launch and run through March 26. Interested persons are invited to lead a group in conversation or participate in at least one of these virtual gatherings. On Thursday, March 11 at 7PM, DCT will host a free event featuring a panel of Dallas dignitaries and celebrities including: actress and advocate Denise Lee, Pastor Rev. Payton Parker of the First United Methodist Church of Lancaster and others.

DCT's website, dct.org/socialjustice/digital is where people can register for the March 11 event, see the growing list of partners and watch the featured videos.

As part of each 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. Small and large group sessions will be offered via churches, schools, corporations and youth-oriented organizations. To date, the following partners have been agreed to host a session and participate in the March 11th event: Capital One, Boys and Girls Club of Collin County, Faith Forward Dallas, First Unitarian Church of Dallas, First United Methodist Church of Lancaster, Girls Inc. of Metropolitan Dallas, Greenhill School, Lake Highlands Area Moms and More Against Racism, Project Unity, and United Way Dallas Women of Tocqueville Group.

Dallas Children's Theater is 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.

On Thursday, March 11 at 7:00PM, Dallas Children's Theater will host a virtual community wide DCT-led event facilitated by actress and activist Denise Lee, Pastor Rev. Payton Parker of First United Methodist Church of Lancaster and numerous youth advocates. Participants will share their observations of the play scenarios and their own personal experiences. Registration details for this and all other events are located at dct.org/socialjustice/digital.

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

e. We would also like for you to identify one or more advocates to join us for the event on March 11.

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

3. Need a facilitator? Just ask.


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