Eleanor Holdridge , head of MFA directing program, and Tearrance Chisholm , graduate student, were mentioned in an American Theatre article on the Bay Area Playwrights Festival. See below.
From: America Theatre Date: July 23, 2015 Author: Sam Hurwitt
SAN FRANCISCO: At the beginning of Tearrance Chisholm's Hooded, or Being Black for Dummies at the Bay Area Playwrights Festival, an actor with a police badge (Myers Clark) tells us to take out our cell phone and "please turn your ringer to its highest volume."
"This story is unimportant," he continues. "So if your phone rings, answer it." He points out a "laugh" light, instructing the audience to laugh when it turns on-and only when it turns on. "Laughing when the laugh light is off makes you a racist."
It's a provocative opening to a provocative play. Hooded focuses on two teenage boys who meet in jail, both arrested for being black in the wrong place at the wrong time. Marquis (Eddie Jackson) is a suburban kid raised by white parents, and he was caught "Trayvoning"-a disturbing real-life meme in which predominantly white kids pose for photos lying face-down on the ground in a hoodie while holding a pack of Skittles and a can of Arizona Iced Tea. Tru (Giovanni Adams), an impish and charismatic kid from Baltimore, offers to coach the uptight Marquis how to act more "black," leading to a devastatingly disturbing and grimly funny look at the endless microaggressions that make up everyday racism in American society.
Even in a staged-reading format, directed by Jessa Brie Moreno with a terrific cast of Bay Area actors, it's an immensely powerful and electrifyingly original work that can't help but dredge up a lot of difficult emotions and associations in the audience. In a talkback afterward a recent BAPF reading, it seemed like everyone in the audience was eager to weigh in on "the perceived continuum of blackness," as one observer put it, while dramaturg Lisa Marie Rollins deftly steered opinions and suggestions back into questions.