Asolo Repertory Theatre's new work development program, Ground Floor, will present a staged reading of Ty Greenwood's play The Paradox of Education on Monday, Feb. 28, at 7 p.m., in the Cook Theatre at the FSU Center for the Performing Arts.
Greenwood's reading is the first event in Ground Floor's new Muriel O'Neil American Heritage Commission Series, which is set to commission three plays by BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color) playwrights and directors over the next three years, made possible by a generous $75,000 grant from the Community Foundation of Sarasota County.
The Paradox of Education centers on six Black college students who have been lured into a predominantly white institution (PWI) through a Black Excellence scholarship that promises they will be well taken care of across their tenure on campus. They immediately find out they have been sold a falsity and come to realize that "skin folk ain't always kin folk," as the students confront the differences between them.
"This play is inspired by James Baldwin and his timeless words and philosophies," Greenwood said, noting that the work is heavily influenced by their time in undergrad at Washington & Jefferson College. "Like Baldwin, I also wanted this play to speak on issues such as race, education, colorism, so-called scholarships and more. I wanted to create a narrative that featured an all-Black cast dealing with these issues and intertwine Baldwin's words and essence throughout."