Award-winning artist Khalia Davis leads an all-Black cast and creative team in adapting Jelani Memory’s A Kids Book About Racism. Along with 37 theaters across the country, The Magik Theatre is proud to present this virtual performance.
Premiering Aug. 1-2 on the streaming platform Broadway On Demand, the new work is adapted and directed by award-winning director and TYA artist Khalia Davis and will be brought to life by an entirely Black and BIPOC cast and creative team from across the United States.
A Kids Play About Racism will utilize theater to offer young children and families a way to engage in meaningful conversation about race.
As part of the production, educational materials developed by Seattle Children’s Theatre in collaboration with the Northwest African American Museum will extend the experience and enhance age-appropriate engagement. All 37 partnering theaters are members of Theatre for Young Audiences USA (TYA/USA), the national organization representing the field of theater for children and family audiences.
“I jumped at the opportunity to adapt Jelani Memory’s book into a theatrical piece for young audiences simply because it meant we were recognizing the importance of including children in these difficult conversations,” said lead artist Khalia Davis.
“This show embraces the full spectrum of emotional response children may have as they navigate comprehending racism and how it may affect them.”
“When I wrote A Kids Book About Racism, I wrote it for my own kids. I never could have imagined it would have spread so far and wide to thousands of kids all over the world, or turned into a nationwide theatrical event. I am thrilled to see what Khalia and these other amazing artists create,” replied Memory, whose book provides the inspiration for the production.
The scale and breadth of this co-production has been made possible in part through the network cultivated by TYA/USA, which connects organizations and artists across the country focused on theatre for young people and families. Through the last few months, TYA/USA has offered a range of programming to provide deep connections and resource sharing in response to COVID-19.
Through this network, TYA theatres across the country have been able to come together to find ways to support each other and their audiences through new and innovative collaboration models.
A Kids Play About Racism will be streaming on Broadway On Demand on August 1 and 2 along with accompanying interviews and educational videos. It is adapted and directed by Khalia Davis, with music composed by Justin Ellington and Costume Design by Ron McCann (California). It will be performed by Davied Morales (California), Angel Adedokun (California), Moses Goods (Hawaii), Rapheal Hamilton (Arizona), Isaiah Harris (Texas), Jessenia Ingram (Georgia), and Regan Sims (New York).
The work is produced by Bay Area Children’s Theatre, Seattle Children’s Theatre, and Alliance Theatre, in partnership with Adventure Theatre MTC, Arts on the Horizon, Children’s Theatre of Charlotte, Chicago Children’s Theatre, Children’s Theater of Madison, Children’s Theatre Company, Childsplay, Children’s Theatre of Cincinnati, Coterie Theatre, Dallas Children’s Theater, Dare to Dream Theatre, Des Moines Performing Arts, Filament Theatre, First Stage, Honolulu Theatre for Youth, Imagination Stage, The Kennedy Center, Magik Theatre, Metro Theater Company, Nashville Children’s Theatre, New York City Children’s Theater, Oregon Children’s Theatre, Orlando Repertory Theatre, Orpheum Theatre Group, Pink Umbrella Theater Company, ReNew Productions, Rose Theater, Seattle Children’s Theatre The Growing Stage – The Children’s Theatre of New Jersey, The Gottabees, The Open Eye Theater, TheatreWorksUSA, Trike Theatre, Trusty Sidekick Theater Company, and Wheelock Family Theatre at Boston University.
Feature photo: the Magik’s Aladdin cast, in happier times.