Theater for the New City to Present Staged Reading of CLASS, Play About White Rage.

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Theater for the New City Executive Director Crystal Field is presenting a staged reading of CLASS, a play by Gloria J. Browne-Marshall about White rage, from Jan. 20 to Jan 22.
Count Stovall is directing the staged reading starring Aixa Kendrick and Michael O'Day at Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (9th-10th Sts.) in Manhattan.
Performances are Friday-Saturday Jan. 20-21 at 8 p.m. and Saturday-Sunday Jan. 21- 22 at 3 p.m. Tickets for the staged readings are $10 by clicking Tix., at (212)254-1109 and at
In addition to being a playwright and author of books such as "The Voting Rights War" and "Race, Law and American Society," Browne-Marshall is an associate professor of constitutional law at the John Jay College of Criminal Justice (CUNY), a civil-rights attorney, a legal correspondent and founder/director of The Law and Policy Group.
She speaks nationally and internationally about the quest for justice in addition to teaching and writing for theater.
"I tell people the limbs are on the same tree and I name my tree justice," Browne-Marshall said of her work from theater to classroom to publications. "And I try different ways to get my point of view across. Sometimes, it may be a book. Sometimes, it may be a play."
CLASS, a two character full-length play about race relations, looks at a conflict in a classroom between a teacher and a student.
It is being presented soon after Martin Luther King Day and close to the inauguration of a new president whose ascent many believe has further polarized the nation.
"We should be thinking about race relations, gun violence, police shootings and white rage," Browne-Marshall said "White rage is what propelled this person into office. We need to examine what it actually means."
In CLASS, an angry poor white student confronts his black female college professor about the bad grade he received in her race-relations class. The confrontation turns deadly after he reveals that he believes black people stole his American dream.
"My character is raging over a battle over the American dream and the anger that certain people believe their American dream has been stolen. Other people may have thought they weren't promised an American dream," Browne-Marshall said. "They are missing out on part of their dream and they're angry about it. They think other people are stealing it."
Browne-Marshall believes that a dynamic has developed in which some people blame any disappointment with their American dream on others.
"When they see immigrants, they think immigrants are stealing their dream," she said. "Some people believe they're always supposed to be first in line. When they examine what they have and compare it to other people, maybe people of color, women, immigrants, if they feel they've come up short, they're angry and feel cheated."
Browne-Marshall believes that anger is not just a reaction to events, but a problem itself, pitting people against each other and blaming rather than trying to build a better life for them and others.
"It doesn't make sense in a country that has so much to offer," she said of anger in America. "Why are people doing this to each other here? If there was a scarcity of food and people were killing each other over food or water, I could see it. What are they killing for? Why are people so angry in this country? Why do they feel cheated?"

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[CLASS is being presented as a staged reading Friday-Saturday, Jan. 20-21 at 8 p.m. as well as Saturday Jan. 21 and Sunday Jan. 22 both at 3 p.m. Theater for the New City, 155 First Ave. (between 9th and 10th Sts.), New York, NY. Tickets $10 at (212)254-1109 and]

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