Horizon Theatre
through April 21, 2019

The pipeline is how some folks describe the school-to-prison experience of some young people in our communities. This work by Dominique Morisseau premiered at Lincoln Center and now is playing here at the Horizon. You may also have recently seen her play, Skeleton Crew at True Colors Theatre.

In this work we meet Nya (Wendy Fox-Williams) who is a teacher at a public school. She is a single mom who has her son, Omari (Stephen Ruffin) enrolled in a private school, so he will get what she feels is a better start in life. But it isn’t working out as well as she planned when Omari gets emotionally disturbed by the teachers always asking him to comment on social issues. We may assume that he was perhaps the only black student in his class, so this became a problem.

Laurie (Vicki Ellis Gray) is a colleague of Nya and Jasmine (Asia Howard) is the object of Omari’s affection. Like many teenagers, life could create an abyss into which they emotionally fall and from which they feel the need to escape in some manner. Omari gets into a dispute at school for the third time, and as in many schools, the rule is three strikes and you’re out.

As Nya is trying to deal with this she suffers a panic attack and goes to the hospital. Her ex, Xavier (Jay Jones) shows up to try to take over Omari’s life, and that isn’t going to work out, either. And the school security officer who is in over his head most days, is played by Lamar K. Cheston.

This one act play is directed by Tinashe Kajese Bolden and Keith Arthur Bolden, and the incredible set is by Moriah and Isabel Curley-Clay. When we reflect upon the happenings in many schools around our country and what is being done, or not done, to provide better facilities and curricula, this play is timely. More info at HorizonTheatre.org