Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Programming Spotlight: Malcolm X & Julius Caesar

New Victory Teaching Artists Janet Onyenuchea and Chad Beckim pose with students after a pre-theater workshop.  Photo credit: Jessica Fenster-Sparber

To get students ready to see X: Or, Betty Shabazz vs. The Nation in repertory with Shakespeare’s Julius Caesar, placement advisory classes have been reading Myers’ Malcolm X: By Any Means Necessary for the last two and a half weeks. Part of a larger interdisciplinary collaboration with Social Studies and Art teachers, and heavily supported by Belmont's speech and reading specialists, placement students at Belmont have approached the historical figure and his context with a variety of lenses.  Last Monday, songwriter Janet Onyenuchea and playwright Chad Beckim deepened the unit of study further when they visited Belmont to conduct pre-theater workshops with all placement groups in their roles as teaching artists with the New Victory Theater.  Chad and Janet engaged students’ growing base of knowledge of Malcolm X’s life and death and then invited students to create tableaux and portraying a variety of roles relating to the play they are rescheduled to attend at the end of the week.  We can’t wait! --Jessica Fenster-Sparber

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