For the past year, educators and students throughout Philadelphia have joined together in story circles to document their experiences and beliefs about education. From these story circles, they have created Philly Education Stories, a way to share their collective vision for educational transformation in Philadelphia.
Jouska PlayWorks is an assembly of playwrights of color, all of whom are committed to creating theatre to enrich, entertain, empower and awaken the moral conscience. Jouska PlayWorks will provide a lab/development setting for artists representing the African Diaspora to hone their craft and achieve excellence through playwritings, readings, and workshops via the critical response process.
Simpatico Theatre is pleased to announce two unique initiatives that will provide artists and community members the opportunity to create exciting and urgent theatre in the greater Philadelphia region. Philly Education Stories in collaboration with Teacher Action Group and Jouska PlayWorks both launch this month, adding to Simpatico’s previously announced line up of thought provoking productions.
“Simpatico Theatre explores stories that celebrate, challenge, and expand our definitions of community and compassion,” said Artistic Director Allison Heishman. “Both Philly Education Stories and Jouska PlayWorks assist with our grassroots dedication of bridging communities, revealing avenues of advocacy for our audiences, and leading to transformative collaborations in our city.”
Philly Education Stories and Teacher Action Group
Philly Education Stories is an original play co-created by Philadelphia educators and students that asks what would it take to humanize our schools. Conceived and Directed by educator, activist, and artist Anissa Weinraub of Palumbo Academy, the production will take place on November 10 at 4:00pm and November 11 at 6:30pm. The performances will take place at Theatre Exile, and all performances are free of charge for the community.
This project uses storytelling and theater-making as a cultural strategy to strengthen intergenerational bonds, heal tensions within communities, and amplify participants’ calls for systemic change in education. The project asks: How does school, with its need for compliance, feel to teachers and students? What kind of education system is actually needed in our city and for our world? What would it take to humanize our schools? Simpatico and Teacher Action Group are grateful to the Leeway Foundation for supporting this project.
Simpatico Theatre is thrilled to support the development of Jouska PlayWorks. Jouska PlayWorks is an assembly of playwrights of color conceived by lead artist and founder Teresa Miller and co-founders Keenya Jackson and Quinn Eli, all of whom are committed to creating works for the stage that will shift perceptions and inaccuracies about the African Diaspora by bringing to the foreground stories and experiences that have too long been untold. Their goal is to use theatre as a means to enrich, entertain, empower and awaken the moral conscience, and to provide a lab/development setting for playwrights of the African Diaspora to hone their craft and achieve excellence through readings and workshops. The inaugural members of Jouska Playworks are: Teresa Miller, Keenya Jackson, Quinn D. Eli, Megan Schumacher, Josh Campbell, Ang Bey, and Nikki Brake-Silla.
The word “Jouska” can be characterized as a verb and/or a noun. Jouska is literally the hypothetical conversation we have with ourselves—the words that fill our consciousness before being released to the world. Anyone who has struggled to find exactly the right words in a situation, and then, miraculously, overcome that struggle, is familiar with Jouska. And any playwright who has struggled to express him or herself on the page yearns for Jouska.Simpatico and Jouska will present to the community a showcase reading of three selected plays in the Spring of each year.
For more information and to make your Pay What You Decide reservations, visit Simpatico Theatre at simpaticotheatre.org or call (267)437-7529.