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'It's great to see that these different narratives' | 'Black Voices' being heard through art at San Diego Repertory Theater

The San Diego Repertory Theater's "Black Voices Reading” series started this week and goes until April 18.

SAN DIEGO COUNTY, Calif. — Black voices in our community are being heard through local theater and around the country.

The San Diego Repertory Theater's "Black Voices Reading” series started this week and goes until April 18. 

Black Voices Reading series spotlights today's Black experience and provides the space for important conversations.

Young women like Vanessa played by Deja Fields in the Homeridae reading, speak the truth of Black voices across America.

“I feel like my Vanessa, my character, really highlights my generation and we are not afraid to stand up how we feel and fight tooth and nail for the things we feel need to be told,” said Fields.

Deja performed on Monday and has already felt the stories reaching across all generations who she says are relearning Black history.

“My grandmother said I learned so much, how can I see this again,” said Fields.

Her grandmother can see it again and so can you and other series for free, but donation is encouraged, every Monday at 5:30 p.m. PST until April 18. 

A post discussion takes place after each reading.

Homeridae is one of four readings with 41 actors in the second annual virtual Black Voices series at the San Diego Repertory Theater.

This series was principally curated by Alexis Williams and Danielle Ward, with additional curation by Jasmine Brooks, Zack King, and Ahmed Dents.

Kandace Crystal plays Jessica, an expectant mother trying to figure out to support her family after the loss of a parent in the "Backing Track" reading.

“It's one of these things where talk about these experiences but deeper than talking about it we can heal together and have fun together,” said Crystal, Community Engagement Director and Partnership Manager for SDRT.

Lead curator for the series, Danielle Ward, says the idea of creating powerful conversations through theater played out after the racial reckoning during the 2020 murder of George Floyd.

“What are things that we are taught in our institutions and K-12 school and media. What are we being told and what are we missing?” said Ward, Associate Artistic Director and Literary for SDRT.

Last year's reading was so powerful it turned into a play "The Great Kahn."

These are actors but their stories are real, ranging from personal and family narratives using comedy and heart felt emotions.

Curator Ahmed Dents says it's about breaking away from what was created for them and seeing who they really are.

“We are as different and different thought, political alignment in everything as anything in this country. So, for me it's great to see that these different narratives, different stories are presented not only for people who don't identify as Black but show who do identify as Black to understand we are so different,” said Dents, Director of Venue Experience at SDRT.

Through art those difference can have the same goal, a better understanding of the Black voices in our community.

“I believe theater is the only way we can unite people of all races and groups of different backgrounds,” said Fields.

The Black Voices Series will run each Monday at 5:30 p.m. PST virtually for free but donation is encouraged. 

There will be an in-person watch party on April 18 at the Lyceum Theater in Horton Plaza and streamed at 5:30 p.m. PST.

WATCH RELATED: New report says young women in San Diego are making more money than men (March 2022)

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