How does the educational system shape and define who is a successful student?
Created collaboratively with Civic Ensemble artists and community members
Photo Credit: Christine Hughes
Performing in The Class Divide are:
Sherron Brown, Alex Clavel, Heather Duke, Minsun Fisher-York, Rachel Gould, Michelle Horvath, Ralfy Lawrence, Mary Loehr, Harry Pruyne, James Schultz, Mitchell Smith, William Wallace, Jason Wilson
September 28-October 8
Thursdays-Saturdays at 7:30, Sundays at 4pm
Lehman Alternative Community School
All performances take place at 111 Chestnut Street
Pay What You Can Production
Recommended: $20, $15, $10 or $5.
No one will be turned away if they can’t pay!
Go to Brown Paper Tickets or call (607)-241-0195 to purchase a ticket.
Civic Ensemble presents The Class Divide observes the traditional mainstream public school education system through the lens of six high school students, their parents, and faculty, as they approach graduation day. The play begins on the high school seniors’ special day and looks back on influential moments of their education that has shaped their various imminent and rather unknown futures.
The Class Divide deepens the conversation started in On the Corner, Civic Ensemble’s 2015 community-based play about the origin of race in the United States. While On the Corner investigated race, class, and the origin of race in the United States, The Class Divide looks at how our current schooling system prepare students for lives of purpose and fulfillment.
Longtime Civic participant Rachel Gould explained, “After watching my son go from an enthusiastic kindergartener to an uninterested, unmotivated, and unhappy 4th grader over the past few years, I find myself profoundly disappointed in his educational experiences so far. Working with Civic Ensemble and others in the community on this topic has been an excellent way to explore the many questions related to education, including “What are we doing wrong?” and “How can we do better?”
The Class Divide was developed from personal stories and group theatre games that explored the experiences of young people in the traditional public school system. When asked why he is participating in The Class Divide, Harry Pruyne said he was “looking for another way to express myself and was thinking about theatre as a place to do so. As a high school and college dropout, I made big decisions in my own life based on my experience in public schools. I am finding that this project is aiding me in both reflecting on that and allowing expression of that in a way that may give life and value to some of that experience.”
Sponsorship and support provided by:
Civic Ensemble is a non-profit theatre company serving Ithaca and Tompkins County that produces new plays by or about women and people of color, re-imaginings of classics, and community-based plays that explore and explode the social, political, and cultural issues of our time. It is our vision that theatre be accessible to all people, onstage and off.