CLASS was workshopped at Playwrights Ink in 2006 and premiered at Alley Stage in Mineral Point, WI in 2007. It was produced by Madison's Broom Street Theatre in 2009. It has now been re-imagined (2023) as CLASS REDUX in response to Florida's Stop Woke Act, and other legislative acts of violence against teachers and students.
Inspired by a true story, Class is a disturbing and comic exploration of the dark side of being human. In 1968, Riceville, Iowa third-grade teacher, Jane Elliott, wanted to teach - really teach - her students a lesson about prejudice. It was the week after Martin Luther King's assassination. The lesson she taught worked so well it resulted in two documentaries (by Frontline and PBS) and forever changed the lives of her students. In this fictional two-act modern re-telling, on the day after the introduction of his new lesson the teacher is confronted by an angry parent accompanied by the school principal. But the parent and the principal quickly become students themselves and learn the lesson with hilarious and tragic consequences.
A fifth-grade classroom at the end of the school day. There are two blackboards, separated by framed portraits of Martin Luther King and Ron DeSantis. An American flag and a school clock hang on the wall. There is a rolling lectern, festooned with cup holders, and holders for two or more “noodles” (foam tubes commonly used by kids in swimming pools). There is also a rolling easel (either flip chart or whiteboard), with accommodations to hold markers, two dart pistols, protective goggles, and target vests). There is a teacher’s desk to the side, a teacher’s chair, a short stool, a bean bag. Displayed on the blackboard is the date - Monday, April 8. One blackboard contains a lesson plan with the heading "SHORT". The other blackboard contains a lesson plan with the heading "TALL". The Tall plan should be at an advanced fifth grade level. The Short plan should be much more basic.
4 actors (Race neutral, gender neutral)
The teacher, Joe Ryerson,
The mother, Emily Palzkill
The principal, Tom Reynolds
WOKE activist, Michelle Teague
This play is available for reading on my NPX website at - Coleman | New Play Exchange for people with memberships.