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Utopian Academy For The Arts| Georgia Approved Charter Middle School » Student Actors, Culinary Arts Students Take Center Stage At Black History Event

Student Actors, Culinary Arts Students Take Center Stage At Black History Event

bh2 Utopian Academy for the Arts will host a special Black History Month Dinner Theater performance tonight in Forest Park that will highlight the talents of culinary arts and creative writing students. The program, “A Letter To My Young Brothers and Sisters,” will feature original essays on heroes and historic moments in black history that link to present day issues facing African-Americans. It will be the second major production this year for Utopian’s budding actors, film editors, singers, dancers, and chefs. Dinner and entertainment begin at 6 p.m. at 4295 Hendrix Drive. Admission is $15 at the door for adults and children 11 and up. Children 10 and under are $5. “Everything for the evening will be created by our scholars, from the food that is being cooked to the monologues being performed on stage,” said Ebonne Craft, director of Fine Arts at Utopian Academy and executive producer of the program. “We will have monologues about slavery, the civil rights struggle, the Birmingham church bombing, bullying, and the Black Lives Matter movement.” Craft said the monologues were assigned as a class project that combined lessons taught in social studies and language arts. The scholars with the best essays were chosen to appear in the Black History Month program. “Writing the monologues challenged students to look at current events and historical events and to give their viewpoints,” Craft said. The Black History Month program will feature performances from every artistic discipline taught at Utopian. Dance students will leap across center stage in a moving routine to “Glory.” Choral students will entertain the audience with two songs, including an ode to runaway slaves. Arts students created a mural that will set the scene for the production. Culinary arts students are preparing a menu of delicacies. “This will be our first show involving sixth graders,” Craft said. “We will have a few on stage performing and some others helping behind the scenes moving props, working as ushers, and assisting with the videotaping of the event.” Eighth grader Nia Parham will serve as emcee of the dinner theater. Craft said she was “impressed” with the quality of the monologues and the confident voices that students are developing as they hone their creative writing skills. She believes that the evening will spark dialogue between scholars and parents about race issues still impacting the country. “Parents should come and see the program because it will give them a new outlook on what students think about social issues,” said Erica Thomas, the program’s musical director. “I think that a lot of parents will be surprised by the words and ideas that their students will be portraying, and that it all was created by our scholars.”
  • I have to say that the Black History Program that was put together by the staff and the performance from the kids was amazing. Seeing the scholars showcase their talents was so amazing. The culinary arts did and outstanding job also. Job well done too all who was involved in putting the program together.

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