In this candid and insightful interview with playwright Tracey Scott Wilson, Pillsbury House Theatre’s Co-Artistic Directors Faye M. Price and Noel Raymond discuss Wilson’s personal journey to craft a story that delves into the trauma faced by African-American high school students navigating today’s educational system. Ms. Wilson visited the Twin Cities recently to workshop the play.
Faye/Noel: Can you just talk about how your original idea about this play warped over the two years of thinking and what it was that changed?
Tracy: I think originally I wanted to do something with the Atlanta cheating scandal and then I started to research the issue, I realized that it was more complicated than it was portrayed in the press and that these teachers, who were actually trying to save the schools from getting shut down, as opposed to doing so just to get money and so that’s the way it was portrayed in the press. I sort of realized the problem is more complicated and that there were real causes for that, (how) the whole issue is going down, it had to do with the systemic racism in this country and in the educational system.