CSM Children’s Theatre Production Considers Race Relations

Theater Scene
From left, Thami Mbikwana, played by Gershawn Mason of Indian Head, makes a point to his teacher, Mr. M, played by Angel-Gabriel Huffman of La Plata, and another student, Isabel Dyson, played by Kaylin Beach of La Plata, in the CSM Children’s Theatre production of “My Children! My Africa,” a play by South African playwright Athol Fugard about apartheid.

South African Playwright’s Work Called ‘Totally Relevant’ to America Today

 

The College of Southern Maryland’s (CSM) Children’s Theatre will kick off its 2017-18 season Oct. 6 and 7 with a presentation of “My Children! My Africa!” by Athol Fugard.

Theater scene
Thami Mbikwana, left, played by Gershawn Mason of Indian Head, tells fellow student, Isabel Dyson, played by Kaylin Beach of La Plata, that she will never understand what it is like to be black in the CSM Children’s Theatre production of “My Children! My Africa,” a play by South African playwright Athol Fugard about apartheid.

Fugard, a South African playwright, confronts the tragedy of apartheid in his native land in “My Children! My Africa!” The play, set in Camdeboo, South Africa, in 1985, is a compelling tale about the efforts of a humble and humane black teacher to persuade just one young person that education, not violence, is the answer to South Africa’s problems.

The show’s director, Sherry Santana of Waldorf, said the performance’s message should resonate with the audience. “’My Children! My Africa!’ conveys a story that is significantly relevant to where we are today in America in race relations,” Santana said. “It is funny, thought-provoking … totally relevant.”

The play features three actors. Kaylin Beach of La Plata is cast as student Isabel Dyson; Gershawn Mason of Indian Head as Thami Mbikwana and Angel-Gabriel Huffman of La Plata as the teacher, Mr. M.

Theater Scene
From left, Thami Mbikwana, played by Gershawn Mason of Indian Head, makes a point to his teacher, Mr. M, played by Angel-Gabriel Huffman of La Plata, and another student, Isabel Dyson, played by Kaylin Beach of La Plata, in the CSM Children’s Theatre production of “My Children! My Africa,” a play by South African playwright Athol Fugard about apartheid.

The show will be presented at the La Plata Campus at the Fine Arts Center Theatre Shows at 7 p.m. Oct. 6 and 2 and 7 p.m. Oct. 7.

Due to language and the complexity of the subject matter, “My Children! My Africa!” is recommended for middle school-age students and older. Tickets are $7 for adults and seniors and $5 for those high school age and younger. CSM’s production of “My Children! My Africa!” is being produced by special arrangement with Samuel French, Inc.

CSM’s Children’s Theatre’s season will continue with two additional productions after “My Children! My Africa!”

“Amazing Grace” by Shay Youngblood, adapted from the book by Mary Hoffman, will be presented 7 p.m. Feb. 16; and 2 and 7 p.m. Feb 17 at the La Plata Campus. “Amazing Grace” is about a little girl who loves acting out stories, those told and read to her by her grandmother as well as ones she reads on her own or makes up. Through any situation at school, Grace shows she can do anything she sets her mind to.

Children’s Theatre also will present “Around the World in 8 Plays” by Patrick Greene and Jason Pizzarello. This comedy takes the audience around the world to explore forgotten myths and unusual legends in eight, fast-paced and hilarious tales. Always quirky, and sometimes bizarre, these eight tales are filled with magic, mystery and morals. Shows on La Plata Campus will be held at 7 p.m. March 2; and 2 and 7 p.m. March 3.

Open auditions for actors interested in participating in these two plays as well as “Lockdown,” a CSM Cause Theatre production, will be held at 6 p.m. Nov. 13 and 14 at the La Plata Campus Fine Arts Center Theatre for those 8 years old and older. Actors are asked to prepare a one-minute monologue.

For information on CSM’s Children’s Theatre, visit www.csmd.edu/community/the-arts/theatre-and-dance/childrens–theatre/index.

CSM Children’s Theatre: “My Children! My Africa!” 7 p.m. Oct. 6; 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Oct. 7. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Fine Arts Building, Theater, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Due to language and the complexity of the subject matter, “My Children! My Africa!” is recommended for middle school-age students and older. $7 adults and seniors, $5 youth of high school age and younger. bxoffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828 or visit www.csmd.edu/Arts.

 

CSM Theatre Auditions. 6 p.m., Nov. 13-14. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Fine Arts Building, Theater, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. Open auditions will be held for CSM Cause Theatre’s production of “Lockdown” and CSM Children’s Theatre productions of “Amazing Grace” and “Around the World in 8 Plays.” Actors are asked to prepare a one-minute monologue. There are roles for performers ages 8 and older. bxoffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828 or visit www.csmd.edu/Arts.

 

CSM Children’s Theatre: “Amazing Grace.” 7 p.m. Feb. 16; 2 and 7 p.m. Feb. 17. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Fine Arts Building, Theater, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. $7 adults and seniors, $5 youth of high school age and below. bxoffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828, www.csmd.edu/Arts.

 

CSM Children’s Theatre: “Around the World in 8 Plays.” 7 p.m. March 2; 2 and 7 p.m. March 3. College of Southern Maryland, La Plata Campus, Fine Arts Building, Theater, 8730 Mitchell Road, La Plata. $7 adults and seniors, $5 youth of high school age and below. bxoffc@csmd.edu, 301-934-7828 or visit www.csmd.edu/Arts.

CSM’s campuses are accessible to patrons with disabilities. Audio description for the visually impaired and sign language interpretation for the hearing impaired are available with a minimum two week advanced notice. If you are interested in these services, please contact the academic support/ADA coordinator at 301-934-7614.

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