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A student organization teamed up with SDSU's School of Theater, Television, and Film to produce a series of plays that thoughtfully examine race.

Student Directors Bring Black Stories to Center Stage

A student organization teamed up with the School of Theatre, Television, and Film to produce a series of plays that thoughtfully examine race.
By Chris Leap and Kellie Woodhouse

In all his years at San Diego State University, Malijah Hopkins had never felt so connected to a performance or group of artists.

The senior theater performance major helped direct the SDSU Free Play Project during the 2021 theater season. The project is a series of plays that features Black stories, performers of color, and was written by playwright Idris Goodwin (who shared the plays for free). 

“It was amazing getting to look around in the rehearsal spaces and seeing so many people who I can identify with on another level besides just acting,” Hopkins said. “I don’t think I’ve ever had the opportunity to do such a large Black piece, and that is something I will always remember.”

The School of Theatre, Television, and Film produced the plays in collaboration with the Black Renaissance Theatre Group student organization – marking the first time the school had collaborated with a student organization on theater performance, according to Free Play director and TTF professor Dani Bedau.

The plays were performed for small in-person audiences and live-streamed virtually. 

The performance was Leilani Snow’s first-ever experience directing an in-person production, and the senior theater major enjoyed seeing all aspects of production come together at performance time. 

Facilitators led guided conversations at the end of each performance, which allowed audiences to reflect and discuss the plays’ exploration of race.

“These issues are important to bring, because they aren't talked about widely in theater,” Snow said. 
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Black Resource Center’s 4th Birthday
Monday, February 28 | Noon – 2 p.m.
Celebrate the fourth year of the establishment of the Black Resource Center and its impact and contribution to Black students at SDSU. For more information on Black History Month programming, visit the Black Resource Center website and follow the center on Instagram @sdsubrc.