New Works showcases new perspectives


Photo by: Dyneira Brown

(Front sitting) Kassidy Young, (Front Laying) Selena Mancini, and (Back) Ryanne Forrest performing “Freedom Summer” Feb.10-11 in the Edwards Black Box Theater.

Students from the theatre department at Coastal Carolina University are displaying new performances and amplifying underrepresented voices with The New Works Productions.

The New Works Productions is a staged reading series of new plays by Black women. Th e department work to give their actors and audience members a chance to hear different stories as well as giving them opportunities to gain a new outlook on history and life. Their first staged reading was “Freedom Summer” by Cynthia Grace Robinson on Feb. 10 and 11.

“Freedom Summer” takes place in 1964 where it follows Nora, a girl who is starting a new life “passing” as a white woman while her sister, Carrie, is on her way to the South to help Black people register to vote. With the bodies of three civil rights workers found in Mississippi, it induces the sisters’ questions about Black Identity, the price of civil rights, and the true meaning of freedom.

Student Director Teniia Brown said the play was chosen out of a lineup of published and unpublished work by BIPOC women. She said everyone working on the project was eager to put it on for others to see. However, they were even more ecstatic that it was performed during Black History Month and that the playwright came to see it in action.

“We wanted to promote representation through Black-lived stories and give opportunities to our Black community in the CCU Theatre Department,” Brown said.

She said the production series gives everyone a voice in each aspect of a project and impacted their outlook on topics that are normally not discussed in class.

“Freedom Summer” was the first project in this series and will be followed by a new play called: “Mahala Island.” The next performance will be shown in the Edward’s Black Box Theater in Room 152 from Feb. 24-25 at 7:30 p.m.