ScholarShift Stories: Race to the Finish Line

November 01, 2016

Students examine biology, history, and existence of race in America during two-session module.

Participating Shattuck-St. Mary’s School students had the opportunity to explore and discuss the issue of race through a two-session module entitled Race: Are We Really So Different? The module was designed to encourage students to examine the biology, history, and modern existence of race and racism in America.

Led by History Instructors Joan Lewis-Osborne and Andrea Moyer, SSM students traveled to the Science Museum of Minnesota on Wednesday, October 26 to attend the Science Live Theatre performance of Race to the Finish Line, an two-person show that addresses the issues of race in America in a real-life, thought-provoking context. The short play focuses on two colleagues who find their friendship begin to fracture as they discuss the issue of race. 

Students followed that experience on Monday, October 31 by taking part in a Penumbra Theatre workshop on race held at The Inn at Shattuck-St. Mary’s. They participated in a series of provocative exercises, discussions, and journaling sessions that dealt with their own personal experiences with race and racism in the United States. 

Penumbra approaches issues of race and racism with the fundamental belief that we see difference. Their workshops combine expert facilitation, a powerful exploration of race in America, monologues from artists, and opportunities for participants to use theatre as a way to problem-solve and model. The process celebrates difference, recognizes cultural nuance, and invites everyone to participate in the dialogue.