Tracy Scott Wilson
“Prep ” — a new play by Tracy Scott Wilson, showing at the Pillsbury House Theater in Minneapolis until October 18, features three riveting actors. A White female high school principal and two Black male students traverse the current education minefields in this Ferguson-Baltimore-Youtube-viral-bound-worst-of-times/-best-of-times moment.
The piece is one seamless poem, weaving three lives together, demanding we see in the individual stories the systematic racism of every U.S. community and school system.
I don’t want to tell you anymore as you have to see it. What I can tell you is my partner and I had a hard time composing ourselves when it was over. We were both sobbing and stuck to our seats. Walking home in the rain, up Chicago Avenue in South Minneapolis, it felt like everything we were doing in our lives had been tossed in the air — in need of reevaluation. First we wanted to throw everything away. As we walked the pieces of our lives began to fall back to the ground, but in different places – with altered meanings. We sat up into the night reviewing each piece of our existence – asserting new meanings — questioning it all. Occasionally we returned to the theater performance, laughing about particular lines that made us cry earlier.
Through out the play other students and adults — youth voices played by Washburn and South High students — could be heard over the loudspeaker interacting with the three live actors – leaving the audience feeling as though voices in our heads were also part of the mix. The way the actors traded limelight, finishing riffs begun by the others, also invited us to enter and put ourselves inside the narrative.