Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Community Forum on Language, Stereotypes, & Communication

The Community Coalition on Race had a terrific forum last night on Language, Stereotypes, & Communication, and Carolyn Hunt did a really super job of directing the actors she and Alysia Souder assembled. The table discussions were apparently quite deep– several people said they’d never have gone so far so fast without the improvisations. I was personally deeply moved by the actors: Luis Marmolejo, Horace Jackson, Naja Selby, and Kate McAteer--- actorstheir human energy and skill. It occurred to me that, among other things, they gave the lie to another set of stereotypes-- about actors being narcissistic, can’t talk without someone writing their lines, etc. etc. They opened up so wonderfully to each other and to us, and added all sorts of good stuff to the material we gave them. I especially loved the Evil Word fluid sculpture– wished for it to go on and on–brilliant idea to do several of them as positive/negative (the girl who seems to love being a ‘ho, the woman offended; the kid calling out to his friend “Yo, Nigga!” etc.) My only regret is that the town officials did not come out in force (some of them were there but I wish the others had come too). Another amazing thing: the whole evening was right on schedule, which almost never happens, James VanOosting and Sandye Wilson brief and strong, a full half hour of table discussions, and at the end, I think people felt energized rather than exhausted.

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