Rooted in Black oral tradition and centering Black experience, Black is the Light is an ongoing series of classes, workshops, festivals, and networking opportunities intentionally designed to cultivate local talent and create bridges for young Black and POC artists between academic learning and the professional world.
The goal of Black is the Light is to engage and inspire BIPOC youth in our community to explore their identity and tell their own story, using artistic mediums including storytelling, poetry, and movement as a source of healing and to harness joy.
This free Zoom workshop series focuses on channeling your inner voice to express your true self. Students will engage in mindfulness, writing, and acting exercises aimed at using their own experiences and embracing all aspects of their identity. Each workshop has a capacity of 25 students.
Workshops are open to students grades 6 through age 19, and are open exclusively to students who self-identify as Black, Indigenous, or people of color.
Questions? Contact Alex Lee Reed, Associate Director of Arts Engagement, Youth & Learning
PERFORMANCE POETRY: PEN OVER PAPER
Dates: Monday, November 16 & Tuesday, November 17 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. PT
Teaching Artist: Allyson Lee Brown
Exploring rhythm, body language, and the power of their own voice, students will create, practice, and perform original pieces of performance poetry.
THE ART OF STORYTELLING
Dates: Wednesday, November 18 & Thursday, November 19 from 4:30-6:30 p.m. PT
Teaching Artist: Dedra Woods
Students will engage with their own history (present and future) through exercises in writing, performing, engaging an audience, and preserving their stories.
RAISE YOUR VOICE PERFORMANCE PROJECTREGISTER ►
Dates: Saturday December 5 & Sunday, December 6 from 2-4 p.m. PT
Teaching Artists: Dedra Woods, Allyson Lee Brown, Alex Lee Reed
Utilizing aspects of performance poetry and storytelling, students will work together with teaching artists to create and perform an original work.
Students interested in participating in the Raise Your Voice Performance Project are encouraged to also register for Performance Poetry and/or The Art of Storytelling.
Meet the Teaching Artists
Allyson Lee Brown
Teaching Artist: Performance Poetry: Pen Over Paper
A native of New Orleans, LA, Allyson Lee Brown received her MFA in Acting from the University of Washington School of Drama. She is also a proud graduate of the illustrious Spelman College where she received her Bachelor of Arts in Drama. Her professional credits include Bulrusher (Intiman Theatre), Citizen: An American Lyric (Sound Theatre/The Hansberry Project), Skeleton Crew (ArtsWest Playhouse), Milk Like Sugar (ArtsWest Playhouse), The Tempest (Seattle Shakespeare Company), and the world premiere of Reparations (Sound Theatre/The Hansberry Project). In addition to her passion for acting, Allyson enjoys mentoring, teaching and encouraging youth to tap into their greatness!
Teaching Artist: The Art of Storytelling
Dedra Woods is an Actor/Educator/Creator and Collaborator. She has been working in the Seattle arts scene since 2012. She has had the privilege to perform with several companies around Seattle including The Williams Project (A Bright Room Called Day, Small Craft Warnings, The Time of Your Life), Seattle Public Theater (Fire Season), Intiman (Wild Horses, Wedding Band), Seattle Shakespeare Company (Medea), upstart crow collective (Bring Down the House, Richard III), Book-It Repertory Theatre (I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings), and ArtsWest (An Octoroon, The Revolutionists). Dedra has also worked in television, film, and as a voice-over artist. She is the creator and curator of Artists of Color in Seattle. AOC(S) is a place to celebrate the BIPOC artists in our town and their work, while inviting everyone in to bear witness to their humanity and artistry. AOC(S) strives to lift the voices of marginalized folx and support local Artists in the Seattle area and on the national scene.
Alex Lee Reed
Associate Director of Arts Engagement, Youth & Learning
Alex Lee Reed (he/they) is a recent Seattle transplant via Flint, MI. Alex received a B.A. in Theatre Performance from the University of Michigan – Flint in 2012. In addition to their current role as Associate Director of Arts Engagement, Youth & Learning at Seattle Rep, Alex has worked locally as a teaching artist for Seattle Children's Theatre, Lathyrus Theater Company, and The 5th Avenue Theatre.
As a writer, director, poet, performer, artist, educator, and mentor, their work is centered on the intersection of being a Black, queer, gender nonconforming individual. With a strong focus on equity and social justice, Alex is a champion for underrepresented groups, particularly QTPOC youth.
Off the clock, Alex lives for new adventures, puppy cuddles, chocolate-cherry ice cream, and chasing sunsets.
Zuzu Kandilige and Asmian Obanion-White competing in the 2020 August Wilson Monologue Competition. Photo by Angela Nickerson.