FRI. FEB 17, at 8PM | “Race in Education” featuring Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm, Playwright; Bryan We
Tearrance Arvelle Chisholm is a playwright. That title is an indelible part of his character. Theatre is the filter through which he sees and interprets the world. As a playwright, Tearrance is interested in exploring the many facets of the African American experience. He feels that race is double edged sword, equipped with its advantages and shortcomings. It is the exploration of this theme that permeates all of his work. His works includes Burning Books (MU New Play Series), Liddy’s Samiches Potions & Baths (Arkansas Rep; Voices on the River), Vulpicide (MU New Play Series), Month of Sundays (Midwinter Madness Short Play Festival; NYC) and In Sweet Remembrance (Endstation Theatre Company and Sweet Briar College). Tearrance has also been published in interJACtions: 75 Monologues by some of America’s Finest Playwrights and Arcadia Magazine. He has worked closely with Endstation Theatre Company (Lynchburg, VA), Theatre Alliance (Washington DC), The Kennedy Center American College Theatre Festival and has held residencies at The Virginia Center for Creative Arts and The Eugene O’Neill National Playwrights Conference (Playwright Observer). Tearrance is currently an MFA Playwriting candidate at The Catholic University of America.
Caleen Sinnette Jennings is Professor of Theatre; since joining the faculty in 1989, she has directed for the main stage season and taught thirteen different courses in the theatre and general education programs. In 2003, she received American University’s Scholar-Teacher of the Year Award. She is a faculty member of the Folger Shakespeare Library's Teaching Shakespeare Institute. Dramatic Publishing Company has published her plays: "Elsewhere in Elsinore: The Unseen Women of Hamlet", "Inns & Outs"," Playing Juliet/Casting Othello", "Free Like Br’er Rabbit", "Sunday Dinner", "Chem Mystery", "A Lunch Line", and "Same But Different". "Uncovered" is published in the Lane/Shengold Anthology, "Shorter, Faster, Funnier" and her play, "Classy Ass" is published in five anthologies. She received a $10,000 grant from Kennedy Center's Fund for New American Plays and the Heideman Award from the Actor’s Theatre of Louisville. She is a two-time Helen Hayes Award nominee, and founding member of The Welders, a D.C. based playwrights' collaborative.
Bryan Weaver is a long-time community activist, a former Advisory Neighborhood Commissioner (ANC) and a communications professional with over 15 years of experience in progressive causes. He has worked on coalition building in local and national politics, promoting liveable and affordable urban neighborhoods, crime prevention, education, community and economic empowerment, affordable housing issues and nonprofit work geared toward youth leadership development. He is a true believer in the economic and cultural diversity of Washington D.C., and uses his elected office as a platform to give a voice to those who have been forgotten by the city government.
Bryan served four terms (eight years) on the Adams Morgan Advisory Neighborhood Commission. He served as Chair for three years. Bryan founded the nonprofit organization, Hoops Sagrado, here in Washington D.C. in 1996. He continues to serve as its president today. Hoops Sagrado takes at-risk youth from Washington D.C. to the highlands of Guatemala every summer for a 5-week program of basketball (training, clinics and tournaments), cultural exchange, leadership development and mentoring, Spanish immersion, English tutoring and community-building activities. Hoops Sagrado, a 501(c)(3), also gives scholarships to Mayan teens interested in finishing high school and going on to college. Through Hoops Sagrado, Bryan is committed to developing leadership skills, self-confidence, and a sense of community service in at-risk youth using the game of basketball as a tool to experience a different country and culture.
Eugene Puryear is a Washington, D.C.-based activist. In nearly a decade of social justice activism, he has been involved in the anti-imperialist movement, helping to organize most of the largest U.S. demonstrations against the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. Puryear has served as a key organizer around police brutality, prisoners’ rights, and abuses in the U.S. criminal justice system. He was the organizer of the first demonstration outside Jena for the Jena Six in 2007, bringing 1,500 to Cramton Auditorium at Howard University. He was the founder of the Jobs Not Jails coalition in Washington D.C. and led the first demonstration in the country responding to the Zimmerman guilty verdict in 2013. Puryear was the co-founder of the DCFerguson Movement a Black Lives Matter organization in Washington D.C..
Further he is the author of Shackled and Chained: Mass Incarceration in Capitalist America that is in its second printing. He currently works as the Director of Field Operations for Justice First an organization working on issues of affordable housing and workers rights in Washington D.C. and New York City. He hosts "Community Watch & Comment" on Washington's WPFW-FM every week.
He was previously the endorsed candidate of the D.C. Statehood Green Party for at-large D.C. Council in 2014 gaining over 12,000 votes. He was the 2008 Vice Presidential candidate of the Party for Socialism and Liberation and is currently the 2016 VP candidate for the same party. Puryear serves on the editorial board of Liberation newspaper. His writings can be found at www.LiberationNews.org.