‘Coloring Between the Lines’ at UNCG

Taylor Allen

On Dec. 6, the Communications Studies department of UNCG will be performing ‘Coloring Between the Lines’. The show addresses the culture surrounding racial identity in America, and seeks to start conversation about everyone’s role in our community. The show was developed by students from CST 460.02, led by Professor Killian Manning.

Asia Wise, a senior at UNCG, works in the technical support and production of the show. She spoke about the production and her hopes for the show, noting that it is unique in how it has been developed.

Rather than traditional dialogue, ‘Coloring Between the Lines’ mostly utilizes text drawn from a variety of sources which range from social media to literary works. In one scene, a poem by Langston Hughes and a speech by Martin Luther King Jr are combined and performed, only to be interrupted by a student commenting on experiences of racism in today’s world.

That personal aspect of the performance is emblematic of what the students hope to accomplish in their production. Students shared their experiences and the experiences of friends and family with race while producing ‘Coloring Between the Lines’. Wise commented that the intention was to create an atmosphere that contextualized people’s experiences not within everyday life, but within American culture as a whole.

Every live performance takes a lot of time, dedication and effort to accomplish. But Wise commented on the level of courage that her classmates have shown because so much of the production requires self-disclosure: though the actors are performing roles, none of them are embodying a ‘character’. On the script, their names are the same as the ones used in class.

Wise commented on the overarching goals of ‘Coloring Between the Lines’: “There are boundaries […] and in this performance we are knocking down walls.”

As one of the most diverse universities in the UNC system, UNCG has a history of investment in social justice conversations about race. ‘Coloring Between the Lines’ doesn’t shy away from the conversations which have been taking place on campus this year, particularly around issues of police violence and cultural prejudice.

What Wise hopes to see from UNCG is a positive reception to their performance, and more conversation about racial identity and what that means for our community. She added that seeing the development of “more classes that involve students in the wider world” is a long-term goal of hers because of her experiences in CST 460.

‘Coloring Between the Lines’ aims to be a bold and brilliant production, highlighting the cultural issues surrounding race that exist in America. Closing with the line “When will we all move together?”, students ask the audience to carry the thought-provoking performance  with them after the doors to the auditorium close.

‘Coloring Between the Lines’ will be performed Dec. 6 at 7p.m. in Ferguson 100. Admission is free to all, and open to the Greensboro community.

Categories: Features

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