(photo courtesy of Recess)
Frigid NYC is an annual event that highlights up and coming playwrights. The best part about this festival is that it gives the proceeds of the ticket purchases to the artists themselves. The highlight of the 2009 Frigid festival for me was a play by Una Aya Osato titled Recess. The one-woman show was funny, sad, inspirational and eye opening. At times it felt as though there were several people on the stage although there was only one.
The play focuses on a six-year-old girl named Sherita whose mother is dying. The teacher and most of her classmates have no idea and are pretty mean to her throughout the process. Ms. White, the teacher, decides that she wants to do a video project with her students to send to Obama. Some students talk about what they are learning in their households, like being gangster, having material things and chasing stardom. Sherita’s message however is so simple and not directed to Obama but his two little girls – appreciate the love you have and the fact that you have two parents to hug you and tell you how great you are each day.
Recess was inspired by Una’s experience as a student and now a teacher in New York City schools confined by policies like No Child Left Behind. Her play hits it right on the nose. No Child Left Behind has in fact left many children behind and given teachers a lot to get angry about. For more information on Recess, visit recesstheplay.com. It’s playing today and Sunday at:
The Kraine Theater/85 East 4th ST New York, NY 10003
Tickets $15-10 are available by calling Smarttix at (212) 868-4444 or
online at FRIGIDnewyork.info