Thursday, April 9, 2020

Play a Day: Aliquippa

Lydia Valentine
For Thursday, I read Aliquippa by Lydia Valentine and available at New Play Exchange.

Lately I have been made aware of the use of board games to illustrate to young people (and not young people) the concept of instutitional racism.

One example, in brief: Four people play Monolpoly. Actually, two play, and two watch. The two people playing move around the board, accumulting property and wealth.

After maybe a half hour to forty-five minutes, the other two are invited to join the game. Two people have all of the wealth and property, and the other two have nothing but are free to move about the board, scraping together cash and paying rent for everything. Got it? That's America.

With her play Aliquippa, Valentine has composed a painful and joyful family drama of tragedy and hope. Four generations of Lockwoods aspire to difficult dreams in a nation where the rules remain set against African Americans. The playwright neatly weaves issues of economics, chemical dependence, and raising non-heteronormative children, providing each of her characters the opportunity to have a voice, doing so with a great deal of warmth and familial humor.

Who should I read tomorrow?

Using Monopoly to Introduce Concepts of Race and Ethnic Relations by Warren Warren, The Journal of Effective Teaching (2011)
The Disturbing History of the Suburbs, Adam Ruins Everything (2017)

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