THEATER | Macalester College stages plays created by youth

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Saint Paul Central Touring Theater is presenting There is No Box for Me! and Seeds of Change, two original plays created by youth ensembles. The event is being held at Macalester College in the Janet Wallace Fine Arts Center, 1600 Grand Avenue, St. Paul, on Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22 at 7:30 p.m.

There is No Box for Me! uses hip hop, spoken word, dance and theater to express youth voices on important issues. It follows the story of a young man, Calvin Clementine, and his struggle to get out of bed and back to school.

The story also connects the lives of a young African American woman defending her intelligence as her peers put her on trial for “acting White,” young men affected by gang violence, and a student from Kenya looking to show others that education is the most important tool they possess. All work is original and created by the cast of 30 students who have worked together this entire year to write and refine this performance.

Seeds of Change is both a performance piece and an African American male support network that aims to lower the achievement gap between African American males and other students. Seeds of Change is a space where the students and their allies can talk openly about issues that challenge the African American community, discuss effective means to help African American males achieve academic success, and advocate for positive changes in education.

This year, noted actor Ansa Akyea has been integral to the development of Seeds of Change, serving as an artistic and academic mentor to these ambitious young adults.

Central Touring Theater (CTT) was established 31 years ago as a safe space for youth to explore artistic expression as a powerful and meaningful force in the world today. CTT members, coming from a variety of racial, ethnic and socioeconomic backgrounds, engage in a vigorous and unique theater training that helps them learn about each other and transform their communities by becoming advocates for social justice and equality.

The troupe has toured to over 10,000 people this year and performed over 30 shows from Monticello Middle School to Carleton College to the University of Minnesota to Totem Town Saint Paul.

Tickets are $5 with special rates available for families and groups. For more information contact Jan Mandell at 651-210-963 or Janice.Mandell@spps.org.
This information was provided by Saint Paul Central Touring Theater.