"Exit Strategy" by Regina Taylor
"January 6th" by Anon
Milktoast by SMU Student Taylor M. Knight
(Bachelor in Fine Arts in Studio Art, a Bachelor of Arts in Film and Media Studies, and a Minor in Archaeology.)
Artist statement: “This video articulates my emotions as a person who wishes to be a positive force for good in the world but often feels overwhelmed by the gravity of our reality. “
SMU Student(s) Leon Jones, Rhett Goldman, Caleb Mosley: “Through My Mind”
“This film explores racial injustice, black mental health, and what it means to be black in 2021 through visual art, dance, film, music, and monologues.”
“Shadows in Isolation” by Courtney Marsaw
Artist’s statement: “I think a lot of people can relate to the difficulties that come with putting a work of art together. I struggled with that throughout this project, which is why it’s not finished. Shadows In Isolation is a concept I developed while in solitude. With the pandemic affecting our lives more than ever, I wanted to play on the idea of your shadow being your company. During that time, I learned that life happens in ways you don’t envision and it’s okay to share that process with others.”
A Short Film by TJ Harris, DePaul University (M.F.A. Acting ’21)
Artist’s statement: I created this piece in April of 2020 as a part of a voice class project. The film was inspired by my hero Chadwick Boseman’s commencement speech at Howard University. Chadwick continues to help me triumph over any obstacles, and his passing reinforces that even more within me.
“Psalm 91” by Jennifer Young
Young is a student at the Theatre School at DePaul
Artist’s statement: I created this film during my second year MFA training. I took a piece of text I worked on in my voice class and adapted it into a film about how we find peace and soundness within ourselves while the world is shouting about so many things: Global Pandemic, job loss, economic crisis, police brutality and systemic racism, threats to our democracy and what felt like an onslaught of black deaths in the summer of 2020. It became a piece about searching for stillness and release.
I intentionally used the camera and physicality of my character moving through their environment to show the juxtaposition between stillness and chaos. I also used camera angles and audio cues to do this. I tried to include God as a second character, because I couldn’t have other actors in my space during a pandemic. The choice to have the camera looking down on my character, or in the cupboard that I opened or following me on my run was supposed to the words from God to his people in Psalm 91: I will be with you in trouble.
Our Stories: 2020 (Submitted by SMU Student Alexa May)
Artists’ statement: SMU students Kelsey Hodge, Nushah Rahman, and Alexandra Savu walk us through their first four months of the pandemic. They navigate a campus-wide shutdown, dramatic shifts in religious and social life, cries for racial justice, and graduating into an unknown and uncertain future. Their stories offer a collective voice of hope.
Black Musicals Matter by Lonnae K Hickman
My video series about Black Musicals is a collection of history, thoughts, and sources about six black musicals. The episode I’ve submitted is from episode two about The Wiz. My whole goal is to discuss who gets to tell black stories, who the audience is, and if they way we tell stories in theatre can/should be as authentic as possible. Yet what even is authenticity? Join me as I discuss why black musicals matter, but also why we need to be careful about certain stories we put onstage amiss the white gaze of patrons.
Trouble Of The World 2020 by Neil Totton
Artist’s description: “2020 has awakened the sleeping world to harsh realities African-Americans have been enduring for centuries. I wanted to explore the strength, faith and struggles in Black America. This 14-minute work is a visual collage of found internet footage, photography and performance projected onto my moving body. Trouble Of The World asks viewers to consider if the power of prayer can save America from its troubles?”