I agree with Deepti that the purpose of our play was to explore both the facts and the emotions surrounding the issue, in order to give voices to the multitude of people that are involved, especially to those who have never seen the “limelight” or publicly spoken about it. I feel it was important for us to become actively engaged in the community around us, and to build a connection to a local issue. It helped us, especially since we are all freshmen, to assimilate to the area we are in- – while focusing on high school-something we all went through! I had the same reaction as Deepti when it came to people’s eagerness to contribute! People felt this immediate want to be my next interviewee, and to talk about the issue from their perspective.
A unique challenge was trying to remain unbiased, and maintain a fair outlook when going into interviews and hearing my classmate’s interviewees’ opinions. I found myself making alliances to one side (pro-bussing) early on when first researching the issues, and the fact that both of my interviewees had the same opinion as me did not help in my quest for neutrality! I did, however, enjoy having the opportunity to learn about how other’s felt and gaining exposure to the arguments for neighborhood schools was interesting. I think the play is bias, and that it has a pro-bussing angle. At first this upset me, but now I have come to see it as the message that the play has taken on for itself. I feel it’s important to note that it all comes from real interviews and people, and I feel that we as a class did a good job of not trying to force or mold the play into being about what we wanted. Even if it does convey some of our own opinions, it is still a valid and truthful piece because we spent a long time on both the research and interviewing processes, and s our own opinion are a form of truth. It was a huge challenge structuring the play, and as Deepti noted the quest for fluidity was challenging, but the end product tells a thought provoking story.
Deepti’s ideas of incorporating primary sources; such as newspaper articles, reports and music into the play is an excellent idea. Technology inundates our lives yet, as was proven by the extremely low voter turnout in the original wake county school board member election last year, people often neglect it. If we had some news reports and other direct information pertaining to the issue in the play it would help highlight the plot line and help the audience “connect the dots.” If we were able to have a more expansive set, and an increased number of props I think it would aid people’s understanding. We would be able to make clearer distinctions between characters, and have a greater variety of settings. Such as a bus stop, a school, a prison and private homes.