ScholarShift Stories: Nina Simone

February 16, 2017

Module brings students to St. Paul for play that examines the lyrics and thoughts of singer/activist Nina Simone.

Six Shattuck-St. Mary’s students joined Upper School Director Matt Cavellier for a front row view of the performance of “Nina Simone: Four Women” on Wednesday, February 15 at St. Paul’s Park Square Theater.

The play, which students attended as part of a ScholarShift module, follows four women alienated from themselves and each other because of the color of their skin through the lyrics of singer, songwriter, and civil rights activist Nina Simone.

About the play: “My skin is brown, my manner is tough…” Nina Simone’s velvet voice was unafraid to sing lyrics that cut right to the truth. From the iconic “I Put a Spell on You” to “Feelin’ Good” to the protest song “Four Women” of the title, her music was a personal and political exploration branded in the kiln of the Civil Rights Movement. Simone’s lyrics weave a story of four women alienated from themselves and each other due to the color of their skin. But, through it all they remain triumphant — women proud “To Be Young, Gifted and Black.” “All I want is equality for my sister, my brother, my people and me… — Nina Simone

The performance will run from March 8-26 at Park Square Theater’s Andy Boss Thrust Stage. For additional information, visit