I, Too

By Langston Hughes

I, too, sing America.
I am the darker brother.
They send me to eat in the kitchen
When company comes,
But I laugh,
And eat well,
And grow strong.

I’ll be at the table
When company comes.
Nobody’ll dare
Say to me,
“Eat in the kitchen,”

They’ll see how beautiful I am
And be ashamed—

I, too, am America.

In this time of great division, it seems the only thing we all can agree on is that we can’t agree. Finding a common conversation can feel impossible, whether that be with our families or colleagues; the people next door or four states over; our president or your city councilor. It’s easy to write off anyone who disagrees, decide to quarantine ourselves in bubbles of agreement, but mounting violence and endless argument tells us that we do so at our collective peril. Our better selves know that we need to see everyone as America too.

Using the tools of performance to foster compassion and empathy, this fall we invite communities to participate in a two-part workshop, culminating in a presentation at Trinity Repertory Company on October 16, 2017 at 7:00 pm. Our team of artist-organizers will lead a group of stakeholders through a simple one-on-one 3-question interview that unearths participants’ beliefs around our community identity. Throughout the process, we will offer tools of devised/physical theater-making, eventually asking participants to collaborate on original short performance pieces that reflect the conversations, showing our greater-Rhode Island community both the pain present in our realities and the hopes for our future.

For more information, email Community Engagement Coordinator Rebecca Noon at rnoon@trinityrep.com.