Perpich News

Hennepin Theatre Trust Partners with Perpich for Exposed Brick Theatre Workshop For Educators

Photo courtesy of Ari Koehnen Sweeney, Hennepin Theatre Trust.

March 3, 2022

Along with our partners at Hennepin Theatre Trust, Perpich Center for Arts Education was excited to offer a professional development opportunity for theater educators and directors on Saturday, February 26. The theme of the day was “Through Our Eyes: Telling Untold Stories”. The day started with the artistic leaders of Exposed Brick Theatre offering a workshop on expanding the theater canon, decentering whiteness, and working with students to create the multiracial and multicultural stories we want to see. Next, the participants had a restorative yoga session with local artist Kenna Cottman, followed by the introduction of new tools for evaluating theater syllabi from an antiracist perspective. After dinner provided by Hennepin Theatre Trust, the group headed to the Jungle Theater for a viewing of Redwood by Brittany K. Allen and directed by H. Adam Harris. The entire day was filled with learning, artistry, and community building!

Exposed Brick Theatre is dedicated to telling untold stories, centering omitted narratives, and creating art at the intersection of identities. Their vision is to live in an empathetic world where people and their stories are valued. They believe that telling untold stories will make the world more just. When silenced narratives are shared, authentically and truthfully, and aren’t shaped by a dominant cultural lens, empathy, understanding, and truth prevail.

Photo courtesy of Ari Koehnen Sweeney, Hennepin Theatre Trust.

Kenna-Camara Cottman is a dance educator repping North Minneapolis and Black Dance. Kenna runs Voice of Culture Drum and Dance, providing culturally based engagement to the community. Kenna has taught many things including Montessori elementary school, college level dance, and kickboxing. Kenna has worked at Franklin Middle School, TU Dance Center, and many others. Kenna is a proud member of BLAQ, The Wild Duo, and WE WIN, among other organizations.

Redwood at the Jungle Theater, directed by H. Adam Harris and written by Brittany K. Allen, is the story of Meg and Drew, an interracial couple, who are thrown into crisis when Meg’s uncle discovers Drew belongs to the family that owned Meg’s relatives in an antebellum Kentucky. What are the ways love can and cannot transcend both modern social barriers and historical power structures? Meg and Drew must learn if it is possible to forgive, champion, or fully understand a person who is beloved but fundamentally other.