Two new Muslim Voices musicals created by the Brooklyn Children’s Theatre will premiere during the month of Ramadan. Together, they will tell stories of what it means to be American and celebrate the recognition of Eid as a public school holiday. These musicals allow non-Muslim and Muslim children alike to experience the culture and everyday experiences of their classmates and neighbors, to learn about the local New York City history, and develop confidence in their own voices and identities. The world premiere of two new musicals that bring Muslim and non-Muslim audiences together around a celebration of diversity and representation.
Brooklyn Children’s Theatre (BCT) is an after school musical theatre program serving over 1000 children in Brooklyn. Professional writers and composers create mini-musicals specifically for BCT’s students to ensure that every child has the opportunity to grow as an artist and a person. We believe that theatre should be for EVERY child, not just those who can afford it. 700 of our students are low-income or living in family shelters.
These original musicals are part of Brooklyn Children’s Theatre’s “Muslim Voices” series, funded by the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Arts. “The Ten-Year Test” shares the story of how Eid became a public school holiday after 10 years of petitioning by New York City school students. In “All of U.S.,” a play written collaboratively between BCT playwrights and students in the summer program, Muslim and non-Muslim children give their different perspectives on what it means to be American.
In a time of increased divisions and fear of what is unfamiliar and different, these musicals model how to cure fear and hatred – through exposure, engagement and empathy. Amy White Graves, Executive Director of BCT states, “It’s important for children to see themselves portrayed as heroes on the stage. Since we started this project, our Muslim students have taken great pride in sharing their culture, and our non-Muslim students have embraced their Muslim peers with new understanding.”
The Spring productions are ALL OF U.S. and The Ten-Year Test.
ALL OF U.S. is written by Scott Evan Davis, Kareem Fahmy, Amy White Graves, and a team of Muslim and non-Muslim students in BCT’s summer play writing class. In the play, Muslim and non-Muslim children give their different perspectives on what it means to be an American.
THE TEN-YEAR TEST is written by Aizzah Fatima, with music by Craig Baldwin and lyrics by Robert Yarnall. THE TEN-YEAR TEST is about how Eid became a public school holiday after 10 years of petitioning by New York City school students.
The shows will be at The Brooklyn Music School, 126 St. Felix Street, Brooklyn, NY 11217 on Saturday, June 3, 2017 at 4pm and 7:30pm and then Sunday, June 4, 2017 at 2pm and 6:30pm.