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Talking to kids about race? This new musical was created to help you

Randy McMullen, The Mercury News on

Published in Entertainment News

The Bay Area Children's Theatre spearheaded a nationwide drive behind a new streaming musical Aug. 1-2 aimed at offering some lively starting points for parents and kids to talk about racism.

"A Kids Play About Racism" incorporates music and theater to raise race-related issues and topics, such as what are the root causes of racism and what should one do when they witness it. The show was adapted from Jelani Memory's "A Kids Book About Racism" (the author says he wrote the book when pondering how to discuss the topic with his own kids) by Bay Area/New York actress and stage director Khalia Davis, who is also helming the play and its BIPOC (Black, Indigenous and people of color) cast, who perform while sheltering in place.

"I jumped at the opportunity to adapt Jelani Memory's book into a theatrical piece for young audiences at this time simply because it meant we were recognizing the importance of including children in what can be difficult conversations," Davis said. "This show embraces the full spectrum of emotional response children may have as they navigate comprehending racism and how it may affect them."

Bay Area Children's Theatre, Seattle Children's Theatre and Alliance Theatre in Atlanta are the lead producers in the production, in collaboration with more than 35 other theater companies, including Palo Alto-based TheatreWorks Silicon Valley.

The free production, which is accompanied by interviews and other educational videos, is streaming on a Broadway on Demand format and can be accessed any time during Aug. 1-2 after you create a Broadway on Demand account at www.akidsplayabout.org.

 

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