Over the last few months, many Americans have pledged to fight for equality after centuries of injustice and violence. The Black Lives Matter movement has taken a front seat in many of our lives. In the spirit of this overdue reckoning, a prominent theatre conservatory in New York City decided to make an important move in ensuring equality for all students by opening the School of Performative Activism.
“This decision came during a time of great urgency and distress for our country,” said Dean Reese Levy. “We wanted to create a space for our students to perform their activism instead of actually doing it. It will make tremendous strides in their creative endeavors and possibly make us a lot of money.”
After working long and hard from the safety of bedrooms to be vocal about the Black Lives Matter movement, these students can finally pretend to care on their own terms.
“In a world where we have to choose sides, we can all step back, take a breath, stop donating, stop protesting, and focus our efforts on what really matters: musical theatre,” said Heather, a rising senior. “My friends and I were getting really stressed out about the injustice and the senseless murders. I even had an eczema flare-up because of the protests. There was a moment where we all realized that we don’t have to fight. We can just sing about how the movement stresses us out instead.”
Amongst the work already being done at the conservatory, the addition of this specialized school will raise and empower minority voices.
“Black students who filed complaints about racism and mistreatment can now create a performance-based artwork around them, which I believe is true justice,” Molly Smith, a tenured professor said. “The paperwork is a real headache and the performances are at the very least educational. It’s a beautiful, creative solution to so many of the problems occurring on our campus.”
New York’s most important minds in theatre have a shot at making a huge difference, one that will transcend equality and activism. The School of Performative Activism doesn’t come for free, however. There is yearly tuition of $80,000, but scholarships are available for all white students who want everyone to know how badly they feel about everything.
“It’s a new day in America,” said Dean Levy. “And these kids are at the front and center of it.”