The producers of Broadway’s “American Son” are partnering with the Opportunity Agenda to raise awareness about social justice issues. The effort is led by the show’s producer and star Kerry Washington and dovetails with the subject matter of the play, a drama that examines race relations in America.
As part of the effort, the “American Son” team will offer two unique community discussion events with the creative team behind the play. One will take place at the Booth Theater on November 27 and the other will occur on January 10. Educational and engagement materials such as “Raising American Son: A Discussion Guide” will be
provided in venue and online for all audiences.
The Opportunity Agenda is a non-profit organization that works with social justice leaders to drive lasting policy and culture change, as well as to spark conversations about issues.
The producers and The Opportunity Agenda will also work together to foster civic engagement and action and online conversations for audience members. “American Son” centers on two parents in a Florida police station, following them as they grapple with a crisis involving their son. Steven Pasquale co-stars in the show.
“American Son speaks powerfully to the values of equal justice, belonging, and safety in all of its forms. This partnership aims to engage audiences as they process their thoughts and experiences with the play and ultimately seeks to improve conversations about race, identity and justice in this country” said Alan Jenkins,
president and co-founder of The Opportunity Agenda. “These are critical, often complicated, conversations that are essential to our progress as a nation.”
“While in pre-production and rehearsal for American Son, we realized that giving people (myself included) tools to process this play would be a valuable part of the theatrical experience” said Washington. “While in previews, I have grown to believe that it is a necessary element to tell this story. The impact that the play has been having on audiences makes me truly grateful for our partnership with The Opportunity Agenda. The tools they are developing allow for a robust continuation of these important conversations.”
The community discussion events will be facilitated by Dramaturg Jocelyn Prince and will follow the performances. On November 27, the discussion will also feature Alicia Garza, co-founder of Black Lives Matter and Vincent Warren, Executive Director of the Center for Constitutional Rights. On January 10 the discussion will include Juan Cartagena,
president and general counsel of Latino Justice. Another guest will be announced shortly.
The Ford Foundation will fund The Opportunity Agenda’s efforts with “American Son.”