Earlier in the year, members of the “72 Club”- students who attended Hollywood Hills as freshmen in 1972- came to talk to us. They told us the story; the story of how it was like to be a student in brand new Hollywood Hills in 1972.
Only 46 years ago students of different races hated each other and efforts to integrate them were painful. It seems like a decade for me, something from 1872. It seems like 146 years ago, but I did not expect it to be only 46 years ago. Members of the club and graduates from that time are only in their 60’s. They are proud of how their hard work paid off to integrate all of us. They were proud to see black and white students seating shoulder to shoulder in the auditorium and listening to them.
We are living in peace built by those early students. To show them our gratitude, our school’s drama club, under the directions of Emonde Prosper and Sara Pierce, built up a play to tell the story to students who did not get a chance to talk to the members of the “club 72.”
And not only to those students, but to all of us; in order to remind us all how our community was 46 years ago and what it is now. To inspire us to respect and honor differences, and to empower school spirit with a historical approach.
All the student actors are excited about a play, but some are nervous because they will play a role they never saw themselves in before. For example Adakai plays a role of a racist man and is very worried to play it well. Leading up to the show, he declared, “I am excited, but I am nervous!”
They actors rehearsed 2 days a week for three months in order to prepare for the performance.
Some students and faculty members got to watch the dress rehearsal during period 4 on Friday afternoon. Everyone else got to see the show that night, at 6 pm, where it was accompanied by a context walk, panel discussion, and VIP Reception.
All who attended were treated to a powerful reminder of the way things used to be and how effective art can be in helping us reflect on history.