For Immediate Release
May 14, 2019
Young Playwrights’ Theater Remounts
Silence is Violence: Mothering While Black
The true stories of five, young Black mothers unfold at the Anacostia Arts Center
Washington, DC—Young Playwrights' Theater (YPT) will remount the powerful performance of Silence is Violence: Mothering While Black from June 7 - 9, 2019, at the Anacostia Arts Center. Silence is Violence: Mothering While Black premiered with two performances in October 2018 at the Anacostia Playhouse. This installment of YPT's long-running social justice performance series illuminates the experiences of young Black mothers through the true stories of the residents of Olaiya's Cradle, a Sasha Bruce Youthworks program that provides housing and resources for young mothers with infants.
A mixed-media production directed by Farah Lawal Harris, the upcoming performances feature Dior Ashley Brown, Zipporah Brown, Ayesis Clay, Kenya D. Morris and Chinna Palmer. The remount also features compelling elements of mixed media from talented projection designer Anthony Amos along with phenomenal lighting design from Colin K. Bills and sound design from Kevin Alexander.
YPT cordially invites members of the media and a guest to attend. Please contact Teshonne Powell at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-387-9173 to reserve tickets.
Silence is Violence: Mothering While Black is a choreopoem derived from the oral and written stories, monologues and poetry of five women who participated in Sasha Bruce Youthwork’s Olaiya's Cradle Program. In the summer and fall of 2018, YPT partnered with Olaiya's Cradle to hold workshops in which participants shared their personal stories as young Black women about coming of age, relationships, motherhood and more. YPT Artistic Director Farah Lawal Harris worked directly with the participants and crafted their writings into a script that was then performed last fall.
“The young mothers were generous in sharing their stories with me—they showed fearlessness in sharing their stories,” explains Farah. “I was touched by their stories and honored to be tasked with bringing them to life.”
For the participants, the experience showed them that their stories mattered. “I never knew how strong I am until I was in the spot that I am right now," says Mothering While Black contributing writer Alaza in response to seeing her words onstage. An audience member remarked that the performance had "[given] other youths the hope they may need to move forward regardless of the obstacles they [have] had in life."
Themes of motherhood, youth, trauma, resilience and coming of age resound. YPT is very proud to remount this performance, opening more opportunities for the DC community to experience the power of these young women's stories.
“The experience these women have had hearing their stories onstage and seeing the positive and affirming response from the community will stick with them for the rest of their lives,” says Farah. “We know that those who come see this show will take these stories and the lessons within them back to their families and communities as a testament to how Black women can overcome and thrive even in the most challenging circumstances.”
Young Playwrights' Theater presents
Silence is Violence: Mothering While Black
Friday, June 7, at 8pm
Saturday, June 8, at 3pm & 8pm
Sunday, June 9, at 7:30pm
Anacostia Arts Center
1231 Good Hope Road, SE
Washington, DC 20020
Limited “Name-Your-Own-Price” Rush Tickets available at the door (must arrive 1 hour before show time)
FREE Tickets for young people, 18 and under at the door (must have valid ID)
About the Silence is Violence Performance Series
Since its inception in 2015, Silence is Violence has been YPT’s most immediate and direct route of addressing social justice issues affecting Washington, DC area youth through performance and community dialogue. The first two years of Silence is Violence (Silence is Violence: A #BlackLivesMatter Event and Silence is Violence: Who's Next?) addressed the #BlackLivesMatter movement as a response to the multitude of deaths of Black people by the hands of police; in light of the most recent presidential inauguration, the spring 2017 Silence is Violence: What Now? focused on themes of immigration and cultural pride. In September 2017, Silence is Violence: LGBTQ+ You transformed the series into a mixed arts experience and celebrated the spirit and perseverance of DC area LGBTQ+ youth and adults through their words, music, visual art, performance and fellowship. Silence is VIolence: Whose Earth is This DC? partnered with the student entrepreneurs of Mighty Greens DC to explore issues of environmentalism, community and gentrification in the spring of 2018. Silence is Violence has continued to serve as a means for young people to actively communicate their concerns through targeted dramatic writing workshops and community partnerships. With these young people’s permission, YPT shapes their words into a performance piece with professional performers, furthering YPT’s vision that young people’s voices are not only significant but also powerful.
About Young Playwrights' Theater
Young Playwrights’ Theater inspires young people to realize the power of their own voices.
Young Playwrights’ Theater believes that creative expression and theater are valuable tools for the education, enrichment and self-actualization of young people. Through our programs and productions, we fulfill their creative vision by hiring professional artists to guide and perform original youth-generated work for their peers and for the public.
YPT believes that it is important that youth, especially those whose voices are often minimized, have access to high-quality arts education that centers their experience and is culturally competent and affirming for all young people involved. In order to do this work, YPT acknowledges oppression and reduces its harm through our internal and external structures and practices.
YPT believes that young people are inherently brilliant and we exist to share that brilliance with the world. Learn more about YPT at yptdc.org.