Manna-Symone Middlebrooks and Company Presents: Blinding Silence

My high school experience has built an intimate relationship between myself and the theater. I have learned how to use the stage and play writing to expose audiences to the untold stories that are obvious if you know where to look. For my capstone, I chose to write, direct, and produce a play that investigated American Media between 1950-1970. This period of American history is my favorite because it illustrates how disconnected a people can be from their government. Even after segregation was abolished and the Civil Rights Movement had come to an end, Americans still could not fathom the idea of a person of color being on television. Just the idea of it reflected America in a negative way and would have been disturbing to sit around and watch with the family.

Blinding Silence is a series of scenes connected by the paradox that is America's media reflection. Audience members are first introduced to an attention deprived remote reminiscing about how her owner used to fondle her backside and her best friend, an authoritative remote tired of listening to futile conversation about last night's episode of the Bachelor. The audience is then taken on a journey behind the screen, led by the remote, cell phone, and other unconventional characters. 

The entire cast of this play were students from Science Leadership Academy, most of them with little to no acting experience. Through a variety of theater games, I was able to help them feel more comfortable on stage and with each other. From the beginning of the project, I made it very clear that they were a creative team and were instrumental in creating the final product that took the stage. I took in their thoughts, feedback, and ideas fleshed out in theater games and used them to create the play. Their collaboration was essential for devising this type of work.

Check out the links below to see all work completed for this project: