Facing Our Truth: Berkshire groups collaborate for an evening of one-acts inspired by Trayvon Martin


Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker

Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker

Multicultural BRIDGE, WAM Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group and Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker are joining together to present a reading of Facing Our Truth, a collection of six 10-minute plays by Winter Miller, Marcus Gardley, Dominique Morrisseau, Mona Mansour & Tala Manassah, Dan O’Brien with Quetzal Flores, and A. Rey Pamatmat. Reflecting on race relations in the United States, this collection of one-acts was inspired by events surrounding the Trayvon Martin case. Berkshire Theatre Group hosts the event at The Colonial Theatre (111 South Street), February 6, 2015 at 7:30PM with a moderated panel and community discussion to follow.

In 2013, The New Black Fest in New York City commissioned six very diverse playwrights to write 10-minute plays on the topic of Trayvon Martin, race and/or privilege. This commission resulted in a collection of one-acts titled Facing our Truth which continue to be presented around the country, often around February 5, Trayvon Martin’s birthday. Facing Our Truth’s purpose is to spark serious discussion in our collective communities around these urgent issues.

The directors for the Facing Our Truth one-acts are Sara Katzoff, Kevin McGerigle, Natalie Johnsonius Neubert, Yvette “Jamuna” Sirker, Enrico Spada, and Kristen van Ginhoven. The performers are an exciting mix of professional theatre performers and community personalities. They include: Barby Cardillo, Lindsay DeWinkeleer, Emma Dweck, Victoria Fernendez, Rory Hammond, Joey LaBrasca, Alex Leonard, Lucie Leonard, Roberta McCullough Dews, Ty Allan Jackson, Brittany Nicholson, Jenn Smith, Courtney Stewart, Tony Pallone, Don Quinn Kelley, Gail Ryan, Marla Robertson, Manny Slaughter, Adam Sugarman, Anne Undeland and JV Hampton-VanSant. To see a full list of all the people involved in this event, go to: http://www.wamtheatre.com/facing-our-truth/


A panel discussion, moderated by Gwendolyn Hampton VanSant, will follow the staged reading. The panelists include: Pittsfield Police Chief Michael Wynn, Cultural Proficiency Coach and ROPE/Youth Alive Director Shirley Edgerton, and MCLA Education Professor Dr. Christopher Himes.


In a joint statement, the co-producers of the event said the following: “From the cast and creative team to the volunteers and sponsors to our own organizations supporting our efforts, the response to this project has been tremendous. This is a real testament to the passion for understanding and empathy and the desire for change around these issues in our community. Theatre is a great way to share perspectives and open a conversation through storytelling. We are looking forward to continuing this urgent conversation together on February 6.”

The Facing Our Truth production team is committed to serving our community by presenting a vital theatrical response to the national conversation on race-based hate crimes, with the goal of addressing our specific, immediate need for an effective response to our County’s challenges around race, bias, and privilege. In light of the recent tragic events in our own community, Ms. Sirker, Ms. van Ginhoven, and Mrs. Hampton VanSant were inspired to present Facing Our Truth in commemoration of Trayvon Martin and other victims of hate crimes. Proceeds support the work of Multicultural BRIDGE.

Sponsors for this event include Mass Humanities, Berkshire Gas, Greylock Federal Credit Union, WAM Theatre, Berkshire Theatre Group, and Multicultural BRIDGE.

Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Colonial box office, 413-997-4444 or berkshiretheatregroup.org. This event is recommended for ages 14 and up. There is strong language and mature content. For more information, or if the ticket price presents a financial barrier, please contact Multicultural BRIDGE at 413-394-4029 or email Facingourtruth@multiculturalbridge.org.

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