The Brooklyn Children’s Theatre is thrilled to work with students and families to write and perform plays that touch on the importance of diversity, of friendship, and of understanding the world we live in. Recently, a play, written in part by children, in which Muslim characters faced bullying in their school was performed by children at PS 230. While the play was not part of the school’s curriculum, some parents objected that aspects of the play were not suitable for a public school setting. At BCT, we work to help children become empowered global ambassadors by teaching them about other cultures and experiences. We do not ascribe to or seek to promote any particular faith tradition. However, we acknowledge the concerns raised by performing in a public school a play that, among other things, attempts to inform students about the Islamic faith. As a result, we are temporarily postponing Muslim Voices performances in public schools while we revisit the plays in the program to ensure that they reflect the diverse cultural community of Brooklyn.
In 2016, BCT was given a grant from the Doris Duke Foundation for Islamic Art
BCT was one of eight companies nationwide to receive this grant.
As part of the grant, we have been commissioned to create four original musicals for children with Muslim protagonists.
Two musicals were written by teams of Muslim and non-Muslim musical theatre writers. The other two musicals were written in our summer 2016 playwriting classes, comprised of Muslim and non-Muslim students and teaching artists.
All of the musicals are being performed by 3rd-6th graders in our 2016-2017 season.
In the fall of 2017, they will be licensed to children’s theatre companies around North America.
For more information about our Muslim Voices project, contact
Amy White Graves, BCT’s Executive Director:
This video is the finale of ALL OF U.S. written in our Muslim Voices playwriting class. Tying in with BCT’s mission of diversity, equity, and inclusion, we believe that America is made for ALL of us.
Doris Duke’s press release:
Meet our creative team:
- Craig Baldwin, Award Winning Composer
- Scott Evan Davis, Composer/lyricist, Teaching Artist. scottevandavis.com/
- Aizzah Fatima, Playwright, Consultant. Website: AizzahFatima.com
- Kareem Fahmy, Consultant, Teaching Artist, http://www.kareemfahmy.com/
- Amy White Graves, Playwright, Teaching Artist, Executive Director, Brooklyn Children’s Theatre
- Chris Heller, Playwright, Teaching Artist, Artistic Director, Brooklyn Children’s Theatre
- Steve Saari, Composer. http://www.stevesaari.com/
- Robert Yarnall, Lyricist. http://www.robertyarnall.com/
- And lots of kids!!!!!!