Embracing Arlington Arts Releases EMMETT TILL TRILOGY AND RACIAL JUSTICE Education Podcast Series

Four Mosaic Theater Company partners making this exciting premiere of a rotating repertory production of the Emmett Till Trilogy of plays.

By: Sep. 28, 2022
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Embracing Arlington Arts Releases EMMETT TILL TRILOGY AND RACIAL JUSTICE Education Podcast Series

The non-profit organization Embracing Arlington Artss has released its "Emmett Till Trilogy and Racial Justice - Theaters Keeping the Conversation Going" four-part Educational Podcast Series.

Four Mosaic Theater Company partners making this exciting premiere of a rotating repertory production of the Emmett Till Trilogy of plays ("The Ballad of Emmett Till," "That Summer in Sumner," and "Benevolence") possible were interviewed for the podcast.

"This latest Embracing Arlington Arts Educational Podcast Series focuses not only on the premiere, but also to embellish and continue the conversation about racial justice in our nation today and to discuss how the theater industry is, and should be spurring those discussions," stated Janet Kopenhaver, the organization's president.

The Educational Podcast series features renowned playwright Ifa Bayeza who wrote all three plays; Talvin Wilks, Director; Reginald Douglas, Artistic Director of Mosaic Theater Company; and Antonio Michael Woodard, Actor (portraying Emmett Till). All four expressed their views and insight on the continued impact of this critical event in our country's history and the responsibility of the theater industry to keep the conversation going.

Ms. Bayeza wrote this series of plays to "celebrate the joy and majesty of this family." She is hoping to challenge our contemporary audiences to think about what we are going to do to end racial injustice. "If the Till saga was the spark of the Civil Rights movement, I hope to stimulate sparks in audience members to do something," she concluded in the interview.

Mr. Wilks offered resounding support for the importance of the media in bringing visibility to the injustices of racism, but questions "why does it take an image to gain people's attention?" He also expounded upon why these plays are important to see in order to understand the significant impact of the Emmett Till murder in our nation's history.

As Mosaic Theater Company's Artistic Director, Mr. Douglas expressed his strong belief that the theater industry plays a big role in spurring audience members to become active and energized about combating racial injustice. "I do think that art is action," Douglas explained. "It sparks dialogue about our community, makes people think and to take action," Douglas added.

Rounding out the series was a very thought-provoking interview with Actor Antonio Michael Woodard who portrays Emmett Till. To him, theater has always been a catalyst for change and an instrument to encourage conversations about important social issues in our nation. He urged audience members to see the plays to understand what happened in 1955 and to ensure that it never happens again. "You can't get where you're going until you look back," he concluded.

The Till Trilogy is a series of plays by noted playwright Ifa Bayeza that reflect on the life, death, and legacy of Emmett Till, whose murder in 1955 remains one of the most pivotal moments in American history. Under the direction of the acclaimed Talvin Wilks, the three plays - The Ballad of Emmett Till, Benevolence, and the world premiere That Summer in Sumner - will star 10 actors performing in rotating repertory for the first time. Filled with music, poetry, and imagination, this rare theatrical event will honor the ongoing fight for racial justice in our country and offer audiences of all ages an opportunity for collective reckoning, reflection, and response. Mosaic Theater Company of DC produces bold, culturally diverse theater that illuminates critical issues, elevates fresh voices, and sparks connection among communities throughout our region and beyond.

Embracing Arlington Arts is a non-profit organization whose mission is to advance the vibrancy and health of arts and culture. Interested supporters are encouraged to "follow" and "like" us on Facebook; and follow us on Twitter.

For more information, contact Janet Kopenhaver at janetk@embracing-arlington-arts.org.



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