A group of students have banded together to put on a production written and directed by Millersville University senior Rasheed Wesley. The play, titled Home, is Wesley’s interpretation of the events leading up to the creation of the Black Lives Matter movement. What originally was meant to be a short play blossomed into something bigger and more intense than Wesley had originally intended.
The play itself only took Wesley around two days to write. The production has been in rehearsal for only four weeks and many of the actors featured in Home have minimal or no experience. This has in no way hindered the progress of the production, which has grown from a small short play to a performance that has been deemed worthy of an individual showcase.
Stage Manager Victoria Whitney stated that she was thoroughly impressed with the talent and how quickly everyone was able to get off book, especially considering the highly emotional aspect of Wesley’s writing.
“At Millersville, we’ve done morbid and morose plays but never something so grounded in real events” Whitney said.
According to Whitney, the reality of the subject in this play makes the shorter timeline and the chaos of production worth it. “There’s a point and a purpose and an end goal” Whitney said.
“When you have that much of a wealth of information, sadly it’s really easy to write something like this,” Wesley said. “Part of the reason I made this was to give us something. I wanted to give this campus and black actors the opportunity to show what we can do”
During the writing process, Wesley decided to act on his vision to not only speak out about race relations in the United States, and the widely debated deaths of these individuals, but also to create an opportunity to showcase the diversity of Millersville University’s campus.
“Part of the reason I made this was to give us something. I wanted to give this campus and black actors the opportunity to show what we can do. I want to spark conversation and I want people to realize that this is still a real thing…I want to open up those questions about race relations and diversity on campus” Wesley said.
The play will be premiering on the 15th and 16th of February in Dutcher Hall’s studio. Following both performances, there will be a panel discussion and a Q&A where the audience can discuss race relations and “Home” with Wesley and other panel members.