This article was submitted by Jazmine Martinez (10, J&C).
YPAS’ opening night of “School Girls; Or, The African Mean Girls Play” is set for Thursday, April 28. The show, written by Jocelyn Bioh, will also be performed on April 29, 30 and May 1. Performances will take place in the YPAS Black Box Theater.You are able to purchase tickets here for $10 per adult and $8 per student.
There will be no mask mandates or social distancing requirements for the audience. The cast will also be unmasked.
Ms. Jones is a current teacher and director in the YPAS theatre faculty. Jones explains that “School Girls” was one of the first plays she pitched when she started working in YPAS. She expresses how encouraging and supportive the cast has been throughout the whole audition and rehearsal process.
Jones is feeling proud and excited for the play she thinks will serve the student body as performers and a larger community.
“I think part of the success of this show is how deftly Jocelyn Bioh uses humor to address the impact of colonialism, white supremacy, and colorism. These characters are so vivid, strong, vulnerable, kind, ruthless, smart and funny; the audience is forced to confront the personal impact of systems of oppression on individual lives,” Jones said in an email.
Starting rehearsals in February, the cast jumped into the process of script reading and deeply understanding the play right away. Alaya Rhett (11, YPAS) explains that when she met some cast members during auditions, they expressed their excitement for a play with an all Black cast.
“I think the play asks us to examine how and why we tear each other down, as well as to see how we can build each other up. It has been a real gift to witness the cast embrace building each other up and create a supportive, fun, and hard-working community,” Jones said.