ANNOUNCING: A New Collaboration between Little Uprisings & The Gottabees!
Play for Change, led by Tanya Nixon-Silberg (Little Uprisings) & Bonnie Duncan (The Gottabees), are immersive theatrical experiences for families featuring puppetry, live music and art-making to talk about power, joy and liberation.
Using play and joy, Tanya and Bonnie bring their expertise as educators for racial justice and theater makers for young audiences to empower youth to imagine themselves as change makers,
to practice being change makers, and to ultimately be the change makers.
“We want to cultivate young people who, across the course of their lifetimes,
will disrupt, disquiet or unhinge oppression.” - Dr. Gholdy Muhammad
Social science research has shown us for decades that young children notice racial differences at very young ages and learn societal rules about race throughout childhood (Hughes et al., 2006). COVID-19 and recent national attention to racial violence has upended much of our practices in the classroom and how we relate to our community as families. With the onset of distance learning and social distancing, educators and parents alike are feeling the need to address injustice in the classroom and in their communities, in a way that is child appropriate and non-didactic. Many teachers and caregivers are asking how to translate already learned practices and engagement into action.
We need spaces in which children can imagine themselves within this moment.
One tried and true way to engage youth about the world is through play. As beloved educator and visionary Fred Rogers said, “play is often talked about as if it were a relief from serious learning. But for children, play is serious learning. Play is really the work of childhood.”
Theatre provides an opportunity to experiment with real life situations. Play for Change is being designed to support and inspire resilience, agency, advocacy, and change. It is our goal that every participant leave our experiences filled with joy and equipped with the tools, language and action for speaking out and fighting injustice.
Play for Change Programming Available:
The Best Day Ever
40-minute ZOOM experience for children and their caretakers
Everyone deserves to have The Best Day Ever. When it is clear that The Book of Rules has unfair standards for this, we must mobilize to get the rules changed. Using movement, objects, and lots of imagination, we will show the author of The Book of Rules that we know how to Play for Change!
Tanya and Bonnie helped students understand that it is our job to make sure that other people’s joy isn’t taken away and we can do that by using our own joy to stand up for them so that the rules are fair for everyone.
—Bethania Paris, kindergarten teacher
About Little Uprisings
Little Uprisings (LU) is a collaborative and liberative racial justice program for kids. Little Uprisings endeavors to:
Little Uprisings’ unlimited, creative approach, seeks to partner with institutions in ways that change long after the first few meetings are held, making racial justice a part of their institutional fabric.
Little Uprisings is founded by Tanya Nixon-Silberg, who is a black mother, Artist, educator, facilitator. You’d mostly find Tanya playing, radicalizing and learning from her 7 year old, dreaming up new and fun ways to engage children in racial justice and radically imaging how we all get free.
Interested in bringing Play for Change to your community?
all photos by Tess Scheflan