SATE presented Project Verse in collaboration with COCA and Prison Performing Arts (PPA) as education and engagement partners. Every Wednesday, starting August 12, leading up to the premiere, COCA presented artist talks with caregivers and children to celebrate the creativity of those who are caregivers and artists. Artist talks included: poetry with jessica Care moore and King Thomas Moore, visual arts with Maxine du Maine, and dance and poetry with Delaney Piggins and Norah Brozio.
Dream On Black Girl: Reflections in Quarantine, written and directed by Maxine du Maine, focuses on a writing teacher guiding two young ladies through a poetry class on Zoom. Both students share poems that reflect on the tragedies that continue to plague their community during the quarantine. The poems in the play are inspired by the young black children that were quarantined before COVID-19. They spent their time in a juvenile detention center reflecting on their lives, experiences and emotions through powerful art and writing. Young black youth are tomorrow’s leaders and deserve a platform to represent themselves accurately in the media and have their voice heard. Dream On Black Girl: Reflections in Quarantine is their platform.
Quatrains in Quarantine was written by e.k. doolin in response to a call for scripts based in the Zoom platform. The call was issued by COCA (Center of Creative Arts). The COCAwrites program seeks to produce works that are intended for a multi-generational audience. Cara is a young poet, trying to process the unprecedented time she is living through in the best way she knows how – her verse. Nicole is her mother, trying to survive another day of uncertainty and working/parenting simultaneously from home. Mimi is her friend, seemingly winning at all things. JJ is her brother, absent in more ways than one. Quatrains in Quarantine was directed by Ellie Schwetye and features Rachel Tibbetts and Clayton High School students Claudia Taylor, Anna Lawrence, and Tommy Karandjeff.
Maxine du Maine is a multitalented artist and teacher. She has received multiple awards at film festivals around the country for her films, she currently plays a supporting role in The Ghost Who Walks on Netflix and is currently signed to Wilhelmina Denver models and talent. Additionally, Maxine has won many awards for her paintings and illustrative works that have also been featured in many publications. She has been a teaching artist with Prison Performing Arts since 2018.
e.k. doolin lives and writes in the MetroEast. e.k.’s 10-minute play, V was produced by SATE in 2019 as part of their annual Aphra Behn Festival. She also had readings of her plays The Reason Why (Tesseract Theatre’s New Play Festival, May 2019) and GLUT (Q-collective, July 2019). GLUT was e.k.’s response to a decision that was issued by the United Methodist Church during a special general conference held in St. Louis in 2019 which allowed the church to keep the current exclusionary language toward LGBTQIA individuals that is found in their Book of Discipline.
Project Verse was made possible by funding from COCA, Prison Performing Arts, Regional Arts Commission, and SATE.