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Spring Drama Showcase: Fighting Violence Through Art

Friday, May 18, 2018

This week, our entire middle school community viewed the third and final Drama Showcase of the year. At the end of each trimester, the students from every grade in the middle school write and act in a short play that engages passionately with social issues. Under the supervision of Middle School Drama teacher Jackie Katz, this project is a great opportunity for our students to embody CDS’ spirit of activism.

This trimester, the middle schoolers unanimously agreed on what message they wanted to send. Gun violence is one of the most pressing issues in the world today and, after participating in the National School Walkout two months ago, our students wanted to do even more to support gun control. Therefore, all four of the plays touched on the gun crisis in America.

The evening began with the sixth graders’ “The Neighborhood Kids,” about a group of young people who are inspired to become activists in support of gun control, and continued with the seventh graders’ “Like Yesterday,” told from the perspective of a girl who struggles to cope with her brother’s death in a shooting incident. The fifth grade presented “The Great Machine,” featuring an anthropomorphic gun who doesn’t want to become a tool for hunting. The eighth graders—less than a month after visiting Washington, D.C. with their gun control petition—finished the presentation with “The Divided States of America.” This innovative play featured archival footage from news broadcasts to demonstrate the media’s bias in covering mass shootings.

Jackie told us that “it has been a wonderful honor” to work with this year’s group of middle school students, and she lauded their ability to portray a sensitive subject in a respectful way.