Immersive Play: Equity and Cultural Sustainability

Approximately 150 ninth grade students, along with members of the Project Lit Club, attended a field trip to UAlbany for a screening of “A Love Letter to Brian, Lesley, and Michelle.” This immersive film used dance, theater, and text to explore race and identity in the United States.  Following the Feb. 9  screening, the film’s director and Skidmore College faculty member Hattie Barnhill led a discussion with students. 

”The field trip reinforced the ongoing work we do throughout the year relating to equity and cultural sustainability,” teacher Kimberly Murray said. “As the performance relied heavily on movement, we followed up with a discussion about body awareness in relation to equity/healing/justice spaces.

“Additionally, following the performance students brainstormed ways to create more inclusive spaces that embrace the experiences and identities of all students in our high school community,” Mrs. Murray added.

The pre-screening activities were inspired by Create a Space Now, a social justice media platform that serves as an “intersection of art and activism.” The performance and related activities furthered the discussion around social issues relating to bias, racism, and systemic oppression.  The experience provided cognitive and emotional spaces for students to process conversations regarding identity, race, trauma and healing, Mrs. Murray said. 

Attendees at immersive play at UAlbany


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