Spoken Essay

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Ultra American

Black Teen Lives Matter:

Stories & Monologues
  • Monologues (Act 1)- Monologues is the first of four acts and features student-written pieces performed by professional actors.
  • Family Stories (Act 2)- Family Stories features four short plays that explore the many facets of being a family. How is family a source of strength when confronting life's myriad challenges? How do teens survive the loss of beloved family members? When do the expectations of parents become a crushing burden? Family can be our closest friends, and our closest friends can be our family.
  • Taking a Stand (Act 3)- Taking a Stand features four short plays about Black youth and young adults envisioning their version of the American dream. What do you say to the professor who ignores your work? Or the boss who would rather maintain a profitable status quo than reckon with race? When the pressures of teachers, leaders, and society as a whole act to keep young people in their "place," these newfound heroes snap into action and rewrite the rules.
  • Present Tense (Act 4) - ​​Present Tense features nine monologues and one short play written after Chicago's stay-at-home orders were implemented on March 21, 2020. A few of the stories reflect upon the May 25, 2020 murder of George Floyd and the heightened demands for racial justice that have followed.
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